WeChat, a popular messaging app owned by China-based internet giant Tencent, hit 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) in February, boosted by the Lunar new year, South China Morning Post reported.
Tencent CEO Ma Huateng revealed in a press briefing some 688 million WeChat users had sent or received digital versions of monetary gifts known as hongbao during the holiday season, which were traditionally delivered in the form of cash placed in a red envelope. He described the 1 billion milestone as a “remarkable number”: MAUs stood at 980 million in Q3 2017.
WeChat is not just used for messaging, but serves as a social networking platform through which users can order food deliveries, book taxis and make mobile payments.
The government of Guangzhou, capital of the province of Guangdong, recently launched a pilot to create a virtual identity card for citizens using their WeChat accounts. There are plans to expand this to the rest of the country later this year.