WeiXin/WeChat: Lifting the lid on China’s newest marketing channel

Tessa Thorniley

WeiXin, which is known internationally as WeChat, is China’s hottest digital property. It is the equivalent to the popular What’s App service in the West, and has become the biggest group messaging application in the world, with claims of over 200 million users.

If 2011 was the year of Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) then 2012 is fast becoming the year of WeiXin. Its rise is backed by the huge rise in smartphone sales in China which now account for 26.5% of all smartphone shipments around the world. In particular, cheaper Android-based smartphones have delivered a big boost to sales.

Launched in January 2011, the app is owned by Chinese internet, mobile and telecoms giant Tencent. After huge growth in the past year, it is showing signs of evolving into a potentially powerful tool for advertisers and brands looking to connect with consumers.

What is WeiXin?