China's Tencent seeks to accelerate growth of WeChat outside China

The new campaign will target 15 different markets including Brazil, India and Spain

Soccer star Lionel Messi in WeChat's new advertisement

Soccer star Lionel Messi in WeChat's new advertisement

Chinese Internet giant Tencent is rolling out a global marketing campaign for its WeChat messaging app in a bid to expand the product's reach across 15 different markets, and boost its popularity among users outside China.

The new campaign will stretch into countries including Brazil, India, Mexico, Spain and Thailand, and marks the largest marketing push for WeChat, a product that lets users send messages, voice recorded notes and pictures to friends via their smartphone.

WeChat has over 300 million users, most of them in Tencent's home market of China, but increasingly users from other countries are joining the service. On Wednesday, Tencent revealed that WeChat now had over 70 million users outside of China, up from 40 million in April. The app currently comes in 18 different languages including English.

The user growth is an encouraging sign for Tencent, one of several Chinese Internet companies that have ambitions to expand their businesses abroad. Tencent is best known as the developer of QQ, China's largest instant messaging service, which has 800 million users. The company has also bought stakes in U.S. developers Epic Games and Riot Games.

So far, Chinese-developed Internet services have yet to match the global reach of Google, Facebook or Twitter. Tencent's WeChat product, however, could be among the first to gain a major international following, according to analysts.

WeChat works like other cellphone messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Line, but much of the product's marketing has been outside of mature markets, or has relied on word-of-mouth. Still, Tencent could one day try to actively promote WeChat in the U.S. In February, the company said it had put together a small team to study the U.S. market.

As part of the new marketing campaign, Tencent has recruited soccer player Lionel Messi and other international celebrities to star in advertisements for WeChat.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileinternetmobile applicationsTencent

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?