At today’s 2013 Tencent Partner Conference, Martin Lau, president of Tencent announced that overseas WeChat users had reached 70 million. The 50 million milestone was announced as recently as in the past May. Its overall user accounts surpassed 300 million in January 2013.
WeChat would open up to all third-party developers on Tencent’s existing open platform, helping them expand to overseas markets, Mr. Lau said today.
Currently newly added users are mainly from Southeast Asia and Latin America. So far it has presence in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, etc. An office was also set up in the U.S.
The mobile voice messaging app was launched in mainland China in January 2011. The English version was released later in October and was renamed WeChat in mid-2012. Now it has had eighteen language versions and cover over 200 countries and regions.
It’s not only one of the fastest-growing mobile Internet services we see in China, but also one of the few Chinese Internet services successfully expanding to the markets outside China.
The WeChat team is reportedly working on a major update, 5.0 version which is believed to be a game changer in terms of mobile commerce and user interface. WeChat exec Zengming confirmed that the new version will support payments.