WeChat passes 1b accounts mark | Shanghai Daily

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March 7, 2018

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WeChat passes 1b accounts mark

CHINA’S ubiquitous WeChat social media platform has crossed the 1 billion accounts mark as its messaging, game and shopping services attract more and more users.

The symbolic threshold was announced by Pony Ma, CEO of its parent firm Tencent, on the sidelines of China’s parliamentary session yesterday.

The all-in-one app, known as Weixin in China, is a daily necessity for most Chinese, bringing together messaging, social media, mobile payment, games, news and other services.

Half of WeChat users spend over 90 minutes daily on the app.

In its last company results in September, Tencent had reported that WeChat users had opened 980 million accounts, a 16 percent increase from the previous year.

“WeChat’s worldwide monthly active users have surpassed the critical one billion mark,” said Ma, who is a delegate at the two-week session of the National People’s Congress.

“In the future we hope to use technological innovation to push forward the next developmental step of reform and opening,” Ma said.

He was referring to China’s economic liberalization policy that has fueled four decades of breakneck economic growth.

Although Ma said WeChat’s monthly active users had crossed the one billion threshold, a company spokesman said he was referring to its total number of accounts.

Still, the one billion figure indicates the huge user base which Tencent has built up both inside and outside China for the app.

It compares with 2.1 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 1.5 billion on its messaging app WhatsApp.

The popularity of WeChat — and profits from its addictive mobile games — have pushed Tencent’s earnings and share price sharply upwards.

The company surpassed Facebook in market value last year as it became the first Asian firm to break into the US$500 billion league, while the 47-year-old Ma has rocketed to near the apex of China’s rich list.

Another popular feature of WeChat is its payment service, which allows people to pay at restaurants, buy goods from shops or even send money to friends.

Most WeChat users are based in China’s mainland, though Tencent is trying to gain customers in other countries.



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