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Monthly active users of leading messaging apps in China 2020

China’s telecommunications market houses a variety of domestic messaging apps such as WeChat, QQ, and Momo that cater to its diverse population of smartphone users. As of October 2020, Tencent’s WeChat remained as the most popular messaging app with slightly over one billion monthly active users in the country.

How competitive is the app landscape in China?

Instant messaging was found to be the most popular app category in China with users numbering just shy of 900 million as of March 2020. When it comes to app usage time, video apps have attracted more attention from Chinese mobile users than any other app category. Apart from the well-established video-sharing platforms such as Youku, Tencent Video, and iQiyi, various short video apps - especially Douyin and Kuaishou (Kwai) - have been gaining traction rapidly in the app market. At the same time, online payment apps like Alipay and e-commerce apps such as Taobao and Pinduoduo have trailed closely behind in terms of monthly active user numbers.

App usage trends

China has one of the most engaged app user markets in the world, this is reflected in the high app installations, daily usage numbers, and consumer spending. However, data privacy awareness has been growing among Chinese consumers. A 2020 survey found that a significant amount of users doubted the data security of e-commerce and social media apps. The survey showed that over 50 percent of respondents only partially confirmed permissions requested by mobile apps after checking. It is important for app developers and publishers to avoid undesirable user permissions in order to gain the initial trust of Chinese users.

Number of monthly active users (MAU) of the leading messaging apps in China as of October 2020

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Release date

December 2020



Survey time period

as of October 2020

Supplementary notes

Values have been rounded.
The original source does not provide release date. The date of release is the date of access.

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Statistics on "Social networks in China"

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