WeChat/Weixin, the messaging app from Chinese web giant Tencent, reached 438 million monthly active users, bringing it ever closer to WhatsApp’s 500 million total (as of April).

The user base for the messaging service — known as Weixin in China and WeChat elsewhere — grew by 57 per cent year-on-year and 11 per cent compared to the prior quarter.

WeChat/Weixin had 396 million monthly active users in May, meaning it has added 46 million users in the space of three months.

The company said it had “enhanced the community and payment functionalities of Weixin, and broadened the breadth and reach of Weixin’s service offerings by connecting our core capabilities with those of our strategic partners”.

These enhancements include users being able to purchase products from e-commerce site JD.com within the app, and search content in Official Accounts via the Sogou search engine.

Ma Huateng, Tencent’s chairman and CEO, said it “deepened user engagement on mobile across our social, games and media platforms” during the second quarter.

The company added that it is continuing to focus on “driving user engagement in selected international markets” for WeChat.

Tencent said its online games revenue — which grew 7 per cent compared to the prior quarter, to reach CNY11.1 billion — was “primarily driven” by revenue growth from smartphone games integrated with Weixin its other chat platform Mobile QQ. Games integrated with Weixin and Mobile QQ generated CNY3 billion during the second quarter.

The company said it has “built a significant revenue base and established a strong market position in publishing” of mobile games.

Given the revenue generated by games in the first half of the year, the company said it plans to “prioritise user engagement and game portfolio expansion over revenue growth” during the second half of the year.

Tencent reported second quarter revenue of CNY19.8 billion ($3.2 billion), a 37 per cent year-on-year increase. Profit for the period was CNY5.8 billion, up 58 per cent year-on-year.