two more students in downtown Vancouver reported being stung by the same scam, including being threatened with an attack by gangsters.
It’s not clear if the scammers involved in the cases reported to Ming Pao are based in Vancouver, China, or elsewhere.
"It doesn't feel like a new channel you have to suddenly to communicate with a fan base, it's a bit more tricky for that." Figuring it out will take time, he said.
The We Chat scam reported to Ming Pao by one student in Richmond and two students in downtown Vancouver appears to be identical in its method and players to a We Chat sex-for-credit scam being reported in cities with large Chinese populations, including Singapore.
How the scam works is this: male students are approached on We Chat by what appear to be sexy female students; believing the person associated to a We Chat photo avatar is real, the men are engaged in friendly chatting, sometimes exchanging sexy pictures, and eventually the We Chat friend mentions that she dabbles in prostitution and will offer “services” for a fee.
Their "mini programs," seen as a challenge to app stores, will also keep people within the We Chat ecosystem even more than they already are.
Tencent estimated last year that more than half of users in China spent over an hour a day on the platform, where you can do everything from chat with friends to buy movie tickets to book hotels.
quality=75&strip=all&w=620" / Chinese students in Vancouver and Richmond are being targeted in an international “sex-for-credit” scam run on the Chinese social networking app We Chat.
Ming Pao News has reported male students are also being tricked into believing “hot body” Chinese university students they meet on We Chat want to trade sex.
But later, "we could see mini programs helping us communicate with travelers on the go, maybe get tips on itineraries, booking confirmations, access to travel consultants," he said. Eschenbacher's advice for other brands would be to try their hand at mini programs, despite their current limitations, "even if you do something small and can't do something amazing right now that will stand the test of time.
Chinese students in Vancouver are being targeted in an international sex scam run on the Chinese social networking app We Chat. We Chat is a texting service which Chinese international students in Vancouver use not only to chat, but to locate other users in public areas and trade food, cosmetics and toys.
We Chat creator Allen Zhang launched the feature last week on the 10th anniversary of the i Phone, suggesting the company sees the development as a game-changer. PHD Greater China's chief digital officer, Lars Bjorge, calls the mini apps a "gutsy and ambitious move." For brands, he says, there will be creative challenges in figuring out how to use them.
"You have to give consumers something useful, but it has to be specific, because with lighter apps you have less space to play with," Mr. He's curious to see how things evolve, and whether brands' mini programs will eventually be able to tap into some of We Chat's vast troves of consumer data.
Another challenge for brands: mini programs are not easy for consumers to discover. To find them within We Chat, you have to know what you're looking for.