WeChat is going to expand its market in the U.S. for convenience in paying and Mandarin learning.
The mobile app has become a way of life for communication, entertainment and making payments in China.
At the WeChat U.S. China Strong conference held in San Francisco, Silicon Valley startup Citcon presented the only payment processor in the U.S. that helps merchants accept WeChat Pay.
Chuck Huang, CEO of Citcon, said "last year, over 100 million Chinese people travel outside of China. Once they see this place can accept WeChat Pay, I can use my mobile phone, they certainly receive much warmer welcome with foreign countries."
WeChat is also teaming up with the U.S. China Strong Foundation on a special WeChat account, aiming to get one million grade school and high school students to study Mandarin in the United States.
Right now, that number is at about 400,000.
The account of U.S. China Strong offers games, learning tools, scholarship resources and more that will help Americans learn more about China and connect with Chinese friends and classmates.
Eugene Huang, acting CEO of the U.S. China Strong Foundation, said"language is one of those tools that if you don't use it on a continuous basis, your skills begin to deteriorate very rapidly. And this is one of those ways where using technology, you can not only build cultural bridges, but also enable individuals to extend their learning of Mandarin."
Jessica Beinecke, founder of Crazy Fresh English, supports the idea of using WeChat to learn Mandarin.
"I absolutely think social media is a great way for the two cultures to come together. I think you are communicating with people much more often. And you are learning about them on a daily basis. So the more that can happen between U.S. and China the better," said she.
Although this is just the beginning of its collaboration with WeChat, U.S. China Strong hopes this platform will also allow young people to find their own ways to bridge the cultural gap.