Mobile messaging service WeChat is by far the No. 1 chat app for users in China, according to the forecast. This year, more than 494 million people in China are expected to use the app at least once per month, with 84.5% of all mobile phone messaging app users in the country on the platform.
Mobile messaging is the prevalent form of digital communication in China, partly because email did not take off there as it did in other countries.
eMarketer estimates that more than 585 million individuals in China will use a mobile messaging app this year - equivalent to 75.8 per cent of all internet users.
WeChat, known as Weixin in China, was created by Chinese tech giant Tencent in 2011 and expanded overseas the following year. The app has since grown in scope and has transformed the way users in China live their day-to-day lives. Aside from sending messages, users can order food, transfer money and book airline tickets. In addition, WeChat also functions as a social media platform, where users can post pictures, videos and articles.
Unsurprisingly, smartphone users are often WeChat users. eMarketer expects 79.1 per cent of smartphone users in China to use WeChat this year.
“WeChat is by far the most advanced mobile messaging app worldwide in terms of its functionality and the services it offers users and businesses,” said Cathy Boyle, eMarketer’s principal analyst of mobile. “Where the app falls short is in its global reach. However, for businesses interested in marketing products and services in China - and increasingly to Chinese people living or travelling abroad - WeChat is the best messaging app to use.”
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