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Number of monthly active smart devices of Tencent QQ in China 2014-2019

In China’s fast-moving technological industry, only those who respond promptly to market changes survive the trials of time. Tencent’s  QQ released in 1999, five years prior to Facebook was a successful app that managed to attract about 647 million monthly active smart device users in 2019, more than that of Twitter users. 

The penguin’s secrets

   As the first product developed by the tech giant Tencent, QQ was a simple instant messenger with an adorable penguin logo that shadowed the Israeli app ICQ. The major success of QQ was based on its user ID which had numbers and not alphabets. Most of the Chinese users found numbers easier to remember and share without being embarrassed with their accent. Another convenient feature of QQ is the integration function, where customers can integrate other services and platforms such as social networks, emails, and other entertainment websites under one user ID. With these features, QQ became the best instant messenger in China killing ICQ and MSN messenger. Its monthly user number grew from 233 million to a peak of 899 million in 2016. 

The fading glow

   In 2011, the social media pioneer Tencent launched another messaging app WeChat which became the leading mobile app in China. As an upgraded mobile version of the desktop native QQ, WeChat included a multitude of new features that are more favorable to users like the QR code mobile payment function. Additionally, QQ took measures to integrate innovative and engaging entertainment elements. Although its monthly active user number dropped to 659 million as of the beginning of 2020, which was around 370 million fewer than its sibling WeChat, it was the second most popular instant messenger. Tencent also reported an increase in the time spent on QQ after the introduction of Kandian, the algorithm-driven entertainment news feed within QQ. 

Number of monthly active smart device users of Tencent QQ in China from 2014 to 2019

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Source

Release date

March 2020

Region

China

Survey time period

2014 to 2019

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