Chines people used to send Lunar New Year greetings to their beloved ones via text messages (around 0.1 yuan or 1.64 cents per message) or phone calls. With the popularity of IM services which only chage for data flows, more and more people shift to WeChat, QQ or Weibo to extend New Year greetings in recent years.

The number of messages sent through WeChat doubled YOY on the eve of Chinese Spring Festival (Jan. 30, 2014), the peak date when Chinese send wishes for the new lunar year. The number of messages received via WeChat tripled during the same period as compared with 2013. In the peak minute of the day, around 10 million messages were sent, according to data released by Tencent, developer of WeChat.

The number of messages sent through QQ, another popular IM service developed by Tencent, hit 13.6 billion, peaking at 32.70 million messages per minute during the eve of lunar new year. Moreover, 16 million users sent wishes via QQ Video, citing data released by Tencent.

Img394451333Unit: 100 million messages     Period: Spring Festival (Data source)

This year’s number of greeting text messages sent via telecom carriers is estimated to slump at least 5% YOY to 30 billion from 31.17 billion in 2013 and 32 billion in 2012, respectively.

Under the pressure of IM services, the declining trend of text message revenue continues ever since it witnessed the first drop in 2011. In the first half of last year, the revenue of China Mobile, China’s largest telecom operator by revenue, from phone call business dropped 1.2% YOY, while that for texting message business plunged 5.5% YOY.