The Art of Keeping in Touch via WeChat in China

3 min read.

THE IMPORTANCE OF WECHAT









In China, WeChat is not just your WhatsApp, but the popular messaging application also acts as your email for both personal and work purposes. The Chinese typically do not use emails, unless on very formal occasions. When I was working in China, I have received contracts, invitations, PowerPoint presentations via WeChat. In the beginning, I really wanted to pull my hair out; there is no way for me to file conversations into folders, organize documents or keep track of meetings. Later, I learned several ways to go around them but there is no perfect solution and it boils down to a matter of preference on which method works best for an individual.

Now that you understand the importance of WeChat, it is naturally the most important tool you will need to keep in touch with people; hence, exchanging WeChat contact is a must when you meet new acquaintances. I once lost my WeChat login details and felt completely “paralyzed”.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR “GUANXI” (CONNECTION) ON WECHAT

Knowing many people within your guanxi network and keeping those relationships warm takes time but are efforts that are extremely worthwhile in fostering strong bonds. The question is, how often should you do it?

The easiest way to keep in touch is to send greeting messages during a festivity. But how frequent should you do it? From my personal experience, I would split the year into two halves and I would select a key festival within each half to send these greetings. For the first half, my choice would be the Lunar New Year, the grandest festival in China that typically falls between January to February. As for the second half, I would recommend the Mid-Autumn Festival, a harvest celebration observed between September to October. There are a few other occasions that would be appropriate for one to send their greetings across to their new friends namely New Year’s Day (1 January) and National Day (1 October).

Whenever a festivity is around the corner, you can expect to see a lot of gifs and stickers appearing in your WeChat groups. It is common for one to make use of the available catalogue of stickers and gifs but the best greetings are usually simple and personalized messages. I am not referring to copying and pasting messages from the internet as it would be no different from readily available stickers and gifs.

HOW TO CRAFT YOUR WECHAT GREETING MESSAGES

Picture: If you were to present the same style of “poetic” writing,
it may come across as you copied them from an online source.













The key here is to show thoughtfulness and sincerity. Here is an example for Lunar New Year:

X总您好,今天是大年初一,(your name)给您拜年了!在此也衷心感谢您一直以来的信任与支持,祝愿您及家人新年大吉、心想事成、身体健康、阖家欢乐!

(your name)
(your company name)

Dear X, wishing you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous Year of the Rat! It’s been a great pleasure to work with you and I would like to express my gratitude for your support all along. Wishing you the best of health and may all your wishes come true!

Regards,

(your name)
(your company name)

You can tweak the above message to fit the occasion. For close working partners, feel free to send greeting messages for up to 4 festivities. If not, 2 is a good number.

What are some of your favourite greeting messages? Share it with us via our email at 86insider@86links.com.

In the meantime, find out more about the recommended gift giving etiquette in our latest article “All About Gifting“.