One billion people use China’s instant messaging app monthly  

By Zhao Cheng from People’s Daily

 

WeChat, a popular instant messaging app developed by China’s internet giant Tecent, broke one billion benchmark for the first time in terms of monthly global active users during the 2018 Spring Festival holiday, according to Pony Ma Huateng, chairman and chief executive officer of the company on Mar. 5, 2018.

 

The app has accelerated its pace to go overseas, Ma, also a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) disclosed on the sidelines of the ongoing meeting, adding that it is now applying for overseas payment licenses.

 

He added that Malaysia has granted WeChat a third-party payment license.

 

WeChat user accounts registered an annual growth of 15.8 percent, with 902 million users sending 38 billion messages daily, according to an official report released by Tencent last September.

 

The surge of WeChat users indicates China’s booming digital economy. China’s digital economy totaled at 22.58 trillion yuan ($3.56 trillion) in 2016, ranking second globally and accounting for 30.3 percent of the national GDP, according to recent reports on Internet development of China and the world.

 

The reports also showed 5 billion clicks and searches each day on Baidu, a top search engine in China, and 175 million daily transactions through China’s mobile payment service Alipay.

 

Describing the digital economy as the fastest growing, most innovative and most radiant economic activity in 2017, Ma said that major global technology and Internet companies are catching the opportunity.

 

In the new round of technological revolution, Chinese companies have shifted their role from followers to drivers and contributors of new technologies, and are progressing with their global partners in a coordinated manner, Ma pointed out.

 

Products of China’s fast-developing digital economy, including shared bikes, mobile payments, unmanned shelves and online education, have brought conveniences and surprises to people’s life, and penetrated into a wide range of industries, he added.

 

 

 

A passenger scans a QR code to make a purchase on a train, February 7, 2018. Payments through WeChat, Alipay and other mobile payment channels are available on many Chinese trains during the 2018 “Chunyun”, or Spring Festival travel rush. (Photo: CFP)

 

A customer scans a QR code to pay for fruit in Nanning, capital city of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, December 23, 2017. Mobile payments are gradually replacing cash payments in China. (Photo: CFP)

 

 

Photo taken on February 28, 2018 shows a passenger scanning a WeChat QR code to follow the online illegal and harmful information report platform of railway police in Urumchi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The platform was launched that day. (Photo by Ning Jian from CFP)

 

 

People from Huanjiang Maonan Autonomous County in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region take pictures of fresh fruit and share the photos on WeChat or personal public accounts for promotion, February 3, 2018. (Photo by Gao Dongfeng from CFP)

 

 

Diners wait in line in the buffet area at an old canteen of China’s prestigious Zhejiang University, February 28, 2018. Besides adopting facial recognition technology for automatic payment, the school develops a WeChat mini program, which will automatically send bills and nutritional information of food ordered to customers’ mobile phones. (Photo by Long Wei from CFP)

 

 

Train passengers order Chinese fast food through WeChat, February 11, 2018. Hohhot Railway Administration of China Railway Corporation started to provide an online Chinese fast food ordering service for passengers after the Spring Festival travel rush began. (Photo by Zhang Cheng from People’s Daily)

 

 

 

 

 

Photo taken on February 2, 2018 shows the smart waste recovery system introduced by a community in Shanghai’s Huangpu District. After scanning respective QR code and following the WeChat guidance, residents can easily differentiate bins for liquid waste, solid waste and recyclable waste. (Photo by Wang Gang from CFP)

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