Bullet Messenger (子弹短信), the app that is shaking up WeChat’s dominance in China, announced on its social media channel today that the app reached 4 million active users in just 9 days since its launch.

The app created by Smartisan-backed startup Kuairu (快如) went online on midnight of August 20th and by the morning of August 30th, Bullet Messaging was already installed on 4 million phones.

“Thirty-six colleagues, with an average age of 27, went online for seven days, attracted 54 investment institutions and RMB 150 million of financing in three days,” Bullet Messenger wrote in a post on Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo.

The app surpassed both WeChat and the popular live streaming app Douyin (Tik Tok) becoming the most downloaded social iOS app in the Chinese App Store. It also received RMB 150 million ($22 million) in funding after its first week of operation, according to statements by Smartisan CEO Luo Yonghao.

However, the messaging app is already facing scrutiny. Users have uncovered Bullet’s dark underbelly which is already populated with racy pictures and videos—content that WeChat would not allow.

The app was also criticized for its lack of security standards namely the lack of two-factor authentification, end-to-end encryption, and other privacy settings, as well as the option to see other parties’ phone numbers which brings privacy concerns, our Chinese sister site reported.

Yesterday, Bullet Messenger issued a statement saying that it fixed problems like displaying ID and phone number in plain text in the web interface and seeing other people’s phone numbers when adding them on the app.

Bullet Messenger team is committed to providing users with safe, efficient and convenient instant messaging services, and attaches great importance to the protection of user privacy. We will be more rigorous in protecting user’s information security. Thank you for your supervision.

Bullet Messenger’s Weibo post (Image credit: Bullet Messaging)

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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