WeChat was launched in 2011 as a free instant messaging app from Tencent, but steadily grew and continuously added functions that were far beyond the usual scope of simple text and call apps. As the most used app and the most popular social communication platform in China, WeChat has penetrated people’s daily life. By the end of 2019, there were 1.151 billion monthly active users. This was up 6% from the year before.
The key features of WeChat include instant messaging, Moments pages for daily updates, different types of accounts, WeChat Pay and mini programs. Mini programs are a turning point for the platform and the whole industry. The big advantage is that they can be used without installing them separately on the phone. In 2019, there were 3 million mini programs with 330 million daily active users. The total GMV derived through mini programs was 1.2 trillion RMB.
WeChat is literally everywhere. In any restaurant, shopping mall or even at a market stall, you can tap on WeChat Pay, scan a QR code and that’s it, you’ve paid. With this fast access and its many functions, WeChat has also become an important touchpoint for collecting information.