For many U.S.-based engineering teams who assemble their products in China or greater Asia, WeChat is the messaging platform of choice. This includes many of the largest, most recognizable consumer electronics brands. Manufacturers rely on WeChat for direct communication between the U.S.-based engineers who design new gadgets and the Asia-based manufacturing teams who figure out how to build them.
Travel restrictions from Covid-19 were already a blow to an industry that typically relies on face-to-face interactions to troubleshoot prototype gadgets as they come off of the assembly line. Those restrictions forced engineers to find new ways to get their jobs done digitally – resulting in a variety of hacky heroics and a reliance on WeChat as one of the only real-time communication channels that works reliably across Asia. A ban of this service would provide yet another obstacle for engineering teams working on new gadgets intended to ship for this holiday season – likely resulting in additional delays.
Real-time communication is a necessity during electronic product development
Under normal circumstances, engineers working on new electronic products spend 25-50% of their springs and summers traveling to support build events at their factory partners in Asia. The goal of the New Product Introduction process is to rapidly find