How Uniqlo conquer China Market using Wechat?

Since its launch in 2011, WeChat has experienced drastic growth, particularly in China. The app has more than one billion users around the world (Grant, 2019). Over the years, it has incorporated features such as WeChat Pay, which has increased its popularity among users and businesses. Several other mini-programs were launched in 2017 (Grant, 2019). They allow businesses to link their accounts and also incorporate additional features such as loyalty programs, additional content, and transactions. Resultantly, WeChat has become an essential marketing tool for both domestic and international companies seeking to do business in China. Uniqlo, a Japanese company that deals in clothing and accessories for women, men, and kids, is an example of companies that have used WeChat to grow their market share and revenue in China. Founded in 1949, the company has more than 2000 branches around the world (Doland, 2015). WeChat has played a huge role in the company’s growth, particularly in China. In this light, this article seeks to discuss Uniqlo’s WeChat marketing in China.

        Uniqlo entered the Chinese market in 2002 when its Shanghai store was opened. The number of stores in the country has increased drastically, owing to aggressive marketing strategies. In 2014, Uniqlo was the biggest apparel company in Asia. Its ambition was to become the largest apparel company in the world by 2020 (Doland, 2015). The Chinese market was central to the company’s ambitions. While other retailers were scaling down in the country due to a decline in economic growth, Uniqlo had plans to open 100 stores every year (Doland, 2015). To achieve this, the company had to move beyond its brick and mortar stores and connect with the online audience. WeChat was the tool the company used to achieve this goal. The brand launched the ‘Style Your Life’ campaign, which more than doubled its WeChat followers in China. The number grew from 400,000 to one million in the six months of the campaign. By 2015, the company had more than two million WeChat followers (Doland, 2015). Other than increasing WeChat followers, the brand’s sales grew by 30% (Doland, 2015).

        Ever since, WeChat, coupled with other marketing strategies, have played a critical role in the growth of Uniqlo’s presence in China. The company’s market share in China grew from 0.7% to 1.2% from 2014 to 2018 (Nan & Wenqian, 2019).  In 2018, 70% of Uniqlo’s overseas returns were from China (CIW, 2018). The company also recorded double-digit growth in sales in China. With such figures, the company is on course to hit 1000 stores in China and become the largest clothing retailer in the world by 2021 (CIW, 2018). The company’s marketing budget has also grown as its presence in China, and around the world grows. For instance, its advertising expenses rose from 52.7 billion yen in 2013 to 74.4 billion yen in 2019 (Statista Research Department, 2020).

        As shown in the article, WeChat is a potent marketing tool in China. Through the use of this tool, Uniqlo has managed to increase its customer base, as well as sales in China. Moreover, the tool has enabled the company to increase its market share in the Chinese apparel industry, a factor that supports its ambitions to become a global leader.


CIW. (2018, August 7). 70% of Uniqlo overseas revenues generated from China and set to open 1,000 stores by 2021.

Doland, A. (2015, August 24). How Uniqlo more than doubled its WeChat followers in China. :

Grant, M. (2019, October 28). WeChat becomes an e-commerce challenger in China with mini programs.

Nan, Z., & Wenqian, Z. (2019, August 5). Uniqlo’s Chian fashion to add local designs.

Statista Research Department. (2020, April 6). Fast Retailing advertising expenses worldwide FY 2013-2019.

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