WeChat is catching up to WhatsApp

WeChat has over 700 million monthly active users, according to a report from BI Intelligence. This is an increase of 29% year-on-year.

BI Intelligence said the Chinese instant messaging service is quickly catching up to WhatsApp, which has 1 billion monthly active users.

The nearest Chinese social messaging app in terms of monthly active users is QQ – like WeChat, owned by Tencent – which has roughly 150 million fewer users.

WeChat is also expanding its presence beyond China, where a majority of its users reside, said BI Intelligence.

“The app is nearing saturation within its domestic market, where approximately 93% of those living in Tier 1 cities in China are already counted among WeChat’s registered users,” it said.

“China’s smartphone population is estimated to be around 700 million.”

In South Africa, WeChat launched a wallet and payment system towards the end of 2015 by integrating Standard Bank’s SnapScan service into the app.

Users can transfer money to contacts on WeChat or make payments at merchants which support the service.

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WeChat is catching up to WhatsApp