On November 29, WeChat promulgated its latest regulations regarding external links – seen by many as a major shift in strategy.
The latest regulations aim to drop restrictions on accessing external e-commerce platforms via URLs. WeChat will implement this feature in private conversations only for now.
Before, WeChat's regulations regarding links to external content were quite constricted. Users couldn't open links from Taobao or other non-Tencent ecosystem e-commerce platforms. Although Alibaba and other players bypassed the 'invisible walls' by converting links into photos, clients often recognized their attempts and they were seen as inconvenient.
For investors, this could imply a potentially bullish signal for China's e-commerce platforms like Taobao and JD.