WeChat messaging app is now almost as big as WhatsApp with 438 mn monthly users

Saqib Shah
August 13, 2014

Chinese investment firm Tencent published it earnings today for Q2 2014, revealing that its WeChat messaging app has risen to 438 million monthly active users, making it almost as big as WhatsApp.

That’s a pretty staggering figure on its own, but when you compare it to the 396 million monthly users WeChat had just a quarter ago, then it seems even bigger. Consequently, in the space of a few months, the app has gained over 40 million new users.

That figure now brings WeChat even closer to its biggest rival, the Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp, which claims 500 million active users per month.


Keeping in mind that WeChat’s user base is predominantly in Asia (and specifically in its domestic market of China), we can assume that it will have a hard time catching up to its globally popular rival.

Analysts also point to the fact that WeChat’s growth is flattening, meaning it will struggle to beat WhatsApp in the long run.

However, as we’ve seen with Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, sometimes being big in China is enough to make you a player on the world stage.

The bad news for WeChat is that it is now facing difficulties in its home market in the face of stringent regulations enforced by the government.

Recently, the Chinese government ordered all public account owners on chat apps in the country to register with their real identities and obtain permission to spread news.

The government claimed that this was part of a planned “clean-up” of instant messaging services, which saw 20 million WeChat accounts closed due to apparent links with prostitution.


About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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