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THE RISE AND RISE OF WECHAT AS THE VITAL CONTACT METHOD TO USE IN CHINA

  • 5 April 2017

When Tencent first launched WeChat back in January, 2011, nobody predicted that the bare-bones, mobile-only messenger was just five years away from being an ecommerce and social media juggernaut with well over half a billion users.

The last half decade saw China’s former social media giants get used to living in WeChat’s shade. Renren, “China’s Facebook,” has seen its valuation crumble to a fifth of its 2013 high as users flocked to more feature-rich apps. And Weibo, while hardly obscure, has long since been eclipsed by WeChat’s gargantuan user base.

Back in January, 2011, nobody predicted that the bare-bones, mobile-only messenger was just five years away from being an ecommerce and social media juggernaut with well over half a billion users.

The last half decade saw China’s former social media giants get used to living in WeChat’s shade. Renren, “China’s Facebook,” has seen its valuation crumble to a fifth of its 2013 high as users flocked to more feature-rich apps. And Weibo, while hardly obscure, has long since been eclipsed by WeChat’s gargantuan user base.

WeChats-growth-continues-hits-650-million-users

Two major factors combined to keep foreign messaging apps small within China – government regulations and a failure for companies to see that China was the biggest battleground in the mobile revolution.

Facebook Messenger was never going to succeed in China – the social network had been blocked in China for several years by the time WeChat was released.