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)


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

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