WeChat Reached 806M MAU in Q216

Source: Tencent
Source: Tencent

WeChat (Weixin in Chinese) saw 34% year-over-year growth in monthly active users to reach 806 million in the second quarter.

Weixin Enterprise Accounts, the version for enterprise launched in April, has registered 20 million customers.

eLoyalty Cards, a new loyalty program for merchants launched in June, has signed up more than two dozen businesses, including multinational consumer goods company Unilever, personal care product chain Watsons, Swedish furniture chain IKEA, hotel chain Days Group (or 7 Days Inn) and Air China.

ARPU range for WeChat and Mobile QQ games was RMB155 – 165.

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Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, reports 52% top-line growth in Q2. Operating margin decreased from 43% to 40% year-over-year.

Value-added subscriptions, including monthly paid packages for gaming, music and video, increased 25% year-over-year. The subscription growth and increased virtual item sales contributed to the social networking revenue growth which is 57%.

The recent merger with China Music Corporation, which owns two major music streaming services (Kugou and Kuwo), has made Tencent’s QQ Music the biggest digital music provider in China. Chinese online music services provide free streaming and make revenues through paid subscriptions, paid downloads, and advertising.

Performance-based advertising, which is powered by Tencent’s self-service ad system, grew 80% year-over-year in revenue, mainly driven by Weixin(WeChat) Moments, Tencent News app, and Weixin(WeChat) Official Accounts. WeChat Moments integrated the self-service ad system in the first quarter this year.

Overall growth in online advertising revenue is 60%. Online advertising margin decreased year-over-year due to content cost increase.

Mobile advertising accounts for 80% of the total advertising revenue, the same as last quarter.

In May NOW, a live video streaming service, was launched. The company had developed several similar services previously but few got much traction.

China Tech Newsletter – May 16th-18th, 2016

WeChat (aka. Weixin) monthly active users increased 39% year-over-year to 762 million in Q1 2016. “User metrics growth benefited from the popularity of red envelope activities during the Lunar New Year holidays in early 2016 and increased original content published on Official Accounts. ”

Mobile QQ app and Mobile Qzone app reached 658 million and 588 million monthly active users, respectively.

Tencent reported 43% year-over-year growth in total revenue. Approximately 80% of Tencent’s total advertising revenues was generated through mobile during the quarter.

Performance-based advertising, in-stream and in-article ads on Tencent’s social and news services, saw 90% year-over-year increase in revenue, “primarily driven by growth in advertising revenues from Mobile Qzone, Tencent News, Weixin Moments and Weixin Official Accounts”. The company has recently “introduced self-service advertising tools to monetize Weixin Moments traffic generated in low-tier cities”.

Paid offerings for social networks, including Membership subscription, digital content subscription and virtual items, saw 48% year-over-year increase in revenue.


Location-based social app Momo reports 93% year-over-year growth in revenue in Q1 2016. Monthly active users were 72.3 million.

Live video broadcasting, launched in the third quarter of 2015, generated US$15.6 million in revenue, primarily from virtual gift sales. The company claimed that monthly active users of the live streaming service reached 30 million in April 2016.

Mobile advertising, mobile games and membership subscription increased 104%, 21% and 14% year-over-year, respectively.


The online ticketing service of Alibaba Pictures rebrands as Tao Piaopiao and raised US$260 million in outside funding. Investors include Sina, Alibaba’s finance arm Ant Financial and a group of Chinese film production companies.

Daily ticket sales have reached 3 million, according to Alibaba.


Zhihu.com, the leading Quora-like Q&A site in China, has launched Zhihu Live, where users pay for access to private Q&A sessions organized by verified experts.

Currently the site generates revenues through native advertising and an e-book initiative similar to the “Best of Quora”.

Launched in early 2011, Zhihu.com has 13 million daily active users. (via Yicai)


Onlien English learning site 51Talk has filed for U.S. IPO.

China Tech Newsletter – May 12th, 2016

Weibo reports first quarter 2016 earnings results.

The advertising revenue from SMEs increased 147% year-over-year, accounting for 52% of the total ad revenue. SME advertisers more than doubled on a year-over-year basis to nearly 832,000.

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Daily video views grew 64% quarter-over-quarter and 489% year-over-year to 470 million. Weibo recently enabled video autoplay while on WiFi and launched a live video streaming feature. Currently news media and enterprises are allowed to live stream videos and the company plans to open the new feature to celebrities and verified accounts shortly.

Weibo claims 261 million in monthly active users and 120 million daily active users. 85% of monthly active users accessed the service through mobile.

Source: Weibo Inc.
Source: Weibo Inc.

Online marketplace lender Yirendai reports its first quarterly earnings since IPO.


NetEase reports 116% year-over-year increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2016. Gaming revenue grew 104.5% year-over-year.

The company was offering more than 90 mobile games in the first quarter.


China Music Corp., a Tencent-backed digital music company, plans U.S. IPO — The Wall Street Journal


Sina reports first quarter results.


Xunlei posts first quarter results.

China Tech Newsletter – May 10th, 2016

image credit: Xiaomi
image credit: Xiaomi

Mi Max is Xiaomi’s new handset running MIUI 8, a new version of the custom Android system pre-loaded in all Xiaomi mobile devices and free for download.

Xiaomi claims that MIUI has had more than 200 million users around the world.

The three Mi Max models will retail at RMB1499 (US$230), RMB1699 and RMB1999 (US$300), respectively.


UC Web, the mobile browser and search division of Alibaba Group, announces to launch a mobile content publishing platform similar to WeChat’s official account system. Alibaba said they’d help content creators to monetize “through big data, advertising and e-commerce” .

Apart from Tencent’s WeChat, Baidu, Toutiao (news aggregation app) and Weibo also have similar content publishing platforms. WeChat allow content creators to receive tips or join their display ad program. Baidu shares advertising revenues with content contributors.

China Tech Newsletter – May 9th, 2016

Dongjia, the online equity crowdfunding platform of online retailer JD.com, has raised a total of RMB1.1 billion (roughly US$170 million) from more than 60,000 investors since its launch a year ago. (via 21jingji)


JD.com saw gross merchandize volume and revenue increased 55% and 47%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter of 2016.

Annual active customers increased by 73% to 169 million in the year ended March 31, 2016, from 97.8 million in the previous year.


YunOS, the mobile operating system of Alibaba, added some 17 million new users in the first quarter of 2016, according to Alibaba.

Partnering with more than a dozen Chinese smartphone makers, Alibaba aims to ship some 100 million YunOS smartphones this year.

Meizu, the smartphone maker in which Alibaba invested US$590 million last year, plans to ship some 15 million units running YunOS this year. (via People.cn)


Baidu to Restrict Sponsored Search Results After China’s Probe — Bloomberg

China Tech Newsletter – May 5th, 2016

Alibaba Group reports March quarter 2016 and full fiscal year 2016 results.

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March Quarter 2016 Results:

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Source: Alibaba Group


In Marth quarter 2016, Koubei, the online platform for local businesses jointly established by Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services Group in September 2015, generated more than RMB21 billion (US$3B) in payment volume transacted via Alipay, a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33%. (Alipay is the only payment option on Koubei.)

Average daily transaction volume reached 5.5 million in the past March. There have been more than 800,000 merchants on Koubei platform.


Online video service iQiyi.com launches two virtual reality (VR) apps, iVR Panorama Cinema (for entertainment content) and iVR Game Room (for games), for all-in-one VR devices, as well as a VR feature for its own video streaming app.

The company has reached an agreement with Wuxi Soulpower Culture Media Co., Ltd., a Chinese 3D production company, to produce a VR fantasy film, Iron fists of the Despicable.


Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit initiative launched in 2015, announces to invest in three Hong Kong-based startups, YEECHOO, GoGoVan and Shopline.

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund has two separate funds for Hong Kong and Twaiwan, respectively.

China Tech Newsletter – May 4th, 2016

LinkedIn China has had more than 20 million users, according to Derek Shen, CEO of LinkedIn China. (via Sina Tech)


Mobile social service Momo acquires a 3% stake in mobile game startup Cilu Game for RMB9 million (US$1.4M).


SMZDM.com (“Items Worth Buying”), an online social shopping community, generated some RMB2.5 billion (US$380M) in gross merchandize volume in 2015. Founded in 2010, the company received RMB100 million (US$15M) in Series A round of funding from China Growth Capital at the end of 2015. (via iHeima)