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Tencent’s WeChat mini program daily users in China grew 13% to 450 million last year

Randy Mancini 17 Jan 5
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) – Tencent Holdings’ Weixin, China’s dominant messaging app which is 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 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 added that the number of active mini programs operated by overseas merchants increased 268% over the past two years, with total transaction volumes via those programs growing 897% over the same period of time.

More than 700 million users have used Weixin mini programs tailored to combat the pandemic such as ones used to book COVID-19 tests used by authorities, it also said at its annual developers conference in Guangzhou.

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)