Social messaging app WeChat has just surpassed its 1 billion mark, according to its parent company Tencent’s CEO, Pony Ma. It is the biggest social networking and messenger app in China, and globally just falls a little behind of Facebook’s over 1.5 billion WhatsApp users. Ma was referring to the 1 billion users as its total number of accounts.
The popularity of WeChat in China and beyond is due to additional features like games embedded in the app. Users can also contact business in the app e,g to order food, set up a dentist appointment or book a cab. Additionally, it has digital payment systems integrated to easily make payments for services.
In China, access to services like Facebook, Google and Twitter are illegal, pushing the market to use WeChat which is unrestricted, but is still censored
“WeChat’s worldwide monthly active users have surpassed the critical one billion mark,” CEO Pony Ma said Monday on the sidelines of China’s parliamentary session underway in Beijing.
“In the future we hope to use technological innovation to push forward the next developmental step of reform and opening,” Ma said.
According to Channel News Asia, ‘the company surpassed Facebook in market value last year and the 47-year-old Ma has rocketed to near the apex of China’s rich list. He is the wealthiest delegate to the parliamentary session, according to Shanghai-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report, which estimated his fortune at US$47 billion.’
Download WeChat here for Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.