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Daily Drip

The Results Are In: WeChat is Taking Over the World

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Well, it’s taking over China at least. Tencent’s WeChat has revealed its latest user data report, full of astounding numbers. According to the report, the app now clocks in at 1.08 billion monthly active users, as of the third quarter of 2018 — that’s a few hundred million behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

But unlike the other two, WeChat is for much more than exchanging messages and memes, and as such there’s a lot more to its figures.

More than 20 million official accounts use Tencent’s flagship app to publish stories and news items, and over 800 million people use WeChat Pay for their daily shopping needs. Building out on the architecture of its built-in payment system, WeChat allows users to flex their entrepreneurship skills and run their own e-commerce shops, a phenomenon we happen to have just produced a podcast about:

Digitally China Podcast: The WeChat Hustle

If being a messaging, social media, and mobile payment app wasn’t enough, WeChat has also been busy this past year integrating its technology with public transportation networks across China. To make the trip a little less painful for the country’s 3.75 million commuters, WeChat now lets users access public metro trains and buses by scanning a QR code. The report states that more than 250,000 commuters use this feature per minute, with the service now having reached 50 million users across 100 cities overall. Fun fact: in one minute during the morning rush, WeChat mobile traffic amounts to 46 TB – that’s almost double the amount of video data uploaded to YouTube per day in 2016.

Of course, WeChat’s not stopping its technological takeover at public transportation. The app also lets users solve over 10,000 public service administrative problems, connects 680 hospitals around China, and offers the fitness tracker WeRun – perfect for burning off Thanksgiving calories. With one million mini-programs (built-in apps), if you think it, WeChat probably does it.

For more mobile minutes:

Infographic: Here’s What Happens in One Minute on the Chinese Internet

And for more on the all-encompassing ecosystem of WeChat:

Why We Can’t #DeleteWeChat

Julienna Law
    Julienna Law is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. In her free time, she likes designing graphics, studying Chinese, and listening to the seven loves of her life, K-pop group BTS.