Gucci Partners With Tencent, Foreign Luxury Brands Bet Big on WeChat

The Italian luxury brand Gucci announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent to leverage the Chinese tech giant’s access to abundant data and explore the field of smart retail. The first initiative of the new partnership is the “Gucci Inspiration Map” short film released on Tencent Video featuring a cast of several popular Chinese KOLs.

Gucci is not the first luxury brand to cooperate with Tencent. On November 15, Burberry announced that it had reached an exclusive agreement with Tencent to partner in the Chinese social retail market. The company plans to launch new online stores that would merge social media and retail. With the technical support provided by Tencent, the British brand seeks to create a convenient digital experience for Chinese luxury consumers.

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Gucci, as the second luxury brand that has brokered an exclusive deal with Tencent, currently only cooperates with the company on boutique video projects, trying to attract younger local consumers through KOL marketing. However, in the future, Gucci might also launch social retail stores similar to Burberry, or embark on other digital retail initiatives.

Since last year, luxury fashion brands have become increasingly more interested in WeChat, Tencent’s social media platform dominating China’s internet landscape. WeChat Mini Programs with over 300 million daily users are quickly becoming a new battlefield for brand marketing. Mini Programs can not only become long-term online boutiques, but also easily serve as short-term pop-up stores. Tiffany launched limited-edition products through a WeChat pop-up store mini-program on May 20, (Chinese analog of Valentine’s Day) and the Dior series dedicated to the Qixi Festival (another Chinese holiday sometimes referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day) debuted through WeChat boutiques, and achieved strong sales results.

Louis Vuitton was the first foreign luxury brand to open a WeChat public account in 2012. Currently, 92% of luxury retailers are present on Tencent’s platform, as reported by Tencent News. According to research on Chinese Digital Consumers conducted by Tencent Advertising and Boston Consulting Group, WeChat Mini Programs and Public Accounts are becoming a powerful tool for encouraging consumer participation. These brand-owned channels currently account for 33% of online luxury consumption in China and the figure is continuing to rise.

If you want to explore China’s tech ecosystem but don’t know where to start, check out DecodeChina, a one-week immersion program organized by insiders from Pandaily. The latest installment will take place in Beijing and Shenzhen on January 13-19, 2020. Visit to apply and secure a spot!