WeChat users in China to reach nearly 500 million in 2017

eMarketer predicts WeChat users in China to top 494 million

More than three-quarters (84.5%) of all mobile phone messaging app users in China will use WeChat this year, according to research by eMarketer.

eMarketer’s latest forecast of worldwide mobile messaging revealed more than 494 million people in China are expected to use the app at least once per month.

The research confirms the dominance of Tencent’s mobile messaging app, WeChat, which reports a global monthly active user base of 938 million users.

WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China with 79.1% of all smartphone users in China predicted to use the app this year.

Mobile messaging remains the most popular form of digital communication in China, and eMarketer predicts more than 585 million people in China will use a messaging app this year – which is equivalent to 75.8% of all internet users.

“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.”

WeChat is on a mission to attract global audiences to its app, which has grown into an entertainment ecosystem. The company is focused on growing its international operations and is using its mobile payment app WeChat Pay to drive its expansion into new markets.

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Danielle Long

Danielle Long is APAC Correspondent for The Drum with a remit to cover news from China, Australia and New Zealand. Danielle has 15 years experience as a marketing journalist and has worked on publications in the UK and Australia. She has interviewed some of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and creative brains and has written about almost every standout brand and marketing campaign from the last 15 years.

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