WeChat is one of the many popular social apps out there for mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. The primary market for WeChat is China, although many people throughout the world use this messaging and calling app to stay in touch with their friends and family. If you are currently using WeChat, you might be saddened to find out that the Tipping feature is now disabled on this app.
WeChat Tipping Feature Removed on iOS
The bad news here is that the WeChat Tipping feature has been completely removed from the iOS version of the app. If you have the Android version of this app though, the Tipping feature is still completely usable and will continue to work independently of the iOS version. The problem is that the company behind WeChat, Tencent, said that the Tipping feature on iOS is now out of compliance with Apple policies.
According to Tencent, the issue is that the Tipping feature is not following the rules and guidelines set by Apple in regards to in-app purchases. This Tipping feature allowed WeChat users to tip the creators of content and emojis for their interesting and cool work. It was basically a way to pay someone for using their emojis or reading their content.
Tencent said that it is unfortunate that the Tipping feature has to be completely removed from the popular iOS messaging app. As we stated though, the Tipping feature will continue to work on Android because this is something that is just in violation of Apple rules, not Google rules.
Apple changed up the Terms of Service back in June, and Tencent has been talking to Apple for months about a possible way around the issue with the Tipping feature. Unfortunately, though, Apple does not allow developers to include links or buttons that would then lead the user to purchase anything outside of the normal iOS platform. So this is not just something that Tencent will be having problems with since Apple changed rules to stop developers from making these purchasing options available outside of the normal iOS platform.
Tencent did not say how many content creators might be affected by this news, but the payment system is about 38 percent of the Chinese market share. There are currently over 10 million public accounts on WeChat, which is quite significant. Some accounts are personal, while other accounts are businesses, developers, and government agencies. Overall, there are about 800 million users on WeChat, which is almost hard to even imagine in terms of the impact that removing this Tipping feature could have.
The Tipping feature on WeChat was pretty useful and was a huge part of the future of WeChat according to Tencent. If you wanted to use the Tipping feature all you had to do is put money into your Tencent wallet and then give out the money as you saw fit to the developers and content creators. A lot of developers and content creators liked this too since it helped grow competition in the WeChat market.
Apple Comments on WeChat Issue
Apple did release a statement about the Tipping feature in WeChat, which mostly just said that tipping could still be allowed in the instant messaging app if it used the in-app purchasing platform designed by Apple. So Apple basically said that the app would just need to use the Apple in-app payment system as opposed to the outside payment system.
Tencent users use the QR though, which is something that Apple has not had any compatibility with. Apple does not think that QR is as secure as the Apple in-app purchasing platform, so that is why Apple has never used the QR option.
Apple has been having a ton of issues when it comes to the Chinese market, with this being the latest snag and issue between Apple and China. Apple had to remove iTunes Movies and iBooks last year. Apple TV is still not an option in China either and Apple News is still being blocked by the government.
The latest issue though seems to be more of WeChat not complying with the new Terms of Service setup by Apple. That means this is not just an issue between Apple and China. There are numerous apps that have been impacted by the change of not allowing any other in-app purchases other than those ran through the official Apple iOS platform.