CHINESE social media giant Tencent says its flagship platform WeChat has hit the milestone one billion monthly active users in what its CEO Ma Huateng described as a “remarkable number” that was achieved during the Lunar New Year in February.
Ma, who is also known as Pony Ma, said the numbers are up from 980 million in the third quarter of 2017, according to the South China Morning Post.
More than 688 million WeChat users sent or received digital versions of “hongbao”, Ma said on Saturday, signaling the widescale digital adoption of a Chinese tradition of giving money in red envelopes during the festive season.
Known as Weixin in China, WeChat is the country’s most popular messaging app that serves as a one-stop-shop for social networking, mobile payments, and ride-hailing, among others.
WeChat’s Western counterpart, Facebook, is the world’s largest social media platform with over 2.13 billion monthly users at the end of 2017, the US-based company’s fourth-quarter earnings reported revealed in January. Facebook passed the two billion mark in July 2017.
The messaging app owned by Facebook, Whatsapp, recorded 1.5 billion monthly active users by the end of 2017.
Shenzhen-based Tencent is also the largest video game publisher in the world by revenue, with a market capitalization topping US$525 billion, higher than Facebook’s valuation of US$514 billion on Friday.
Meanwhile, with his current wealth, Ma led the group of richest members of China’s parliament and its advisory body who have grown even richer, the Shanghai-based Hurun Report said on Friday.
Ma, with a net worth of CNY295 billion (US$46 billion), is among the top 100 representatives with a total net worth of CNY3.91 trillion (US$616 billion), Reuters reported.
This article originally appeared on our sister website Tech Wire Asia.