Tencent’s WeChat mini program daily users in China hit 450 million

A WeChat logo is displayed inside TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou
FILE PHOTO: A WeChat logo is displayed inside TIT Creativity Industry Zone where Tencent office is located in Guangzhou, China May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

January 6, 2022

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) -China’s dominant messaging app, Tencent Holdings’ Weixin, known as WeChat outside the country, said on Thursday that average daily active users for its mini programs hit 450 million in 2021.

That represents a 13% increase from a year earlier, much slower than the 33% growth seen in 2020, according to previous figures released by Tencent.

The mini programs – which look and operate much like apps on Apple Inc’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, but are less data intensive – are key to Tencent’s efforts to build its e-commerce operations.

Weixin said at its annual developers conference in Guangzhou that the number of active mini programs operated by overseas merchants had more than tripled over the past two years.

Total transaction volumes via those programs grew 897% over the same period, it added.

More than 700 million users have used Weixin mini programs tailored to combat the pandemic, such as ones used to book COVID-19 tests, the company said.

Weixin will also start to allow users to pay with China’s digital yuan, Tencent said, as the country’s central bank steps up its push to develop its own digital currency https://www.reuters.com/markets/currencies/china-cbank-launches-digital-yuan-wallet-apps-android-ios-2022-01-04.

Tencent saw revenue climb 13% in the third quarter, the slowest growth since it went public in 2004, hurt by a regulatory crackdown that has impacted its games pipeline as well as its app updates.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Jan Harvey)