Apple resumes tipping function on Tencent's WeChat app

Apple has agreed to allow its customers in China to tip content creators directly on WeChat.

  • Published: January 18, 2018 4:39 PM IST

Apple and Tencent have reached a settlement on the tipping feature available on Chinese company’s WeChat app. Apple will now allow its customers in China to tip content creators using WeChat. The move comes after the Cupertino-based company briefly blocked the feature and demanded 30 percent of the revenue from donations.

Apple collects 30 percent of revenue generated by in-app purchases through apps distributed via the App Store including WeChat. The company classified donations using the WeChat messaging app as in-app purchases and demanded for 30 percent of the revenue. Tencent disputed Apple’s demand and claimed that the tips went directly to creators.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Tencent and Apple have agreed to a mutual deal and the Chinese internet company announced the news at a company event. WeChat creator Allen Zhang said the two companies have reached an accord to allow tip on its platform. He also confirmed the company will tweak its app so the tip is paid directly to the content creators but didn’t provide additional details.

“In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features. We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the ‘tip’ function,” Zhang said in a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent.

Apple’s change of heart was first visible when the company updated its App Store guidelines in September last year. The company tweaked the guidelines to allow direct donations to creators without penalty. “Apple now allows apps to offer monetary gifting from person to person without using In-App Purchase (and giving Apple a 30% cut),” the company noted in September.

Apple also mentioned that apps are not allowed to take their own commission and the change in stance seems to be because of complaints from WeChat. Apple has been seeding to demands of Chinese companies and has even removed VPN apps from the App Store in China. It also shifted data of Chinese customers to local cloud server to further strengthen its position in the country.

  • Published Date: January 18, 2018 4:39 PM IST