Tencent to open US office to push WeChat

email article email article print article print article tip @techmeme

WeChat

Tencent, maker of the popular WeChat messaging app, is to open an office in America this year as the Chinese company focuses on taking WeChat global. This was confirmed by Tencent corporate development group vice president Zhang Xiaolong in an email to employees this morning and which was seen by Caijing.

The paper says that the new US branch will be a customer relations department for WeChat, which has over 300-million users.

WeChat — known as Weixin to Chinese users — first went global in April 2012 when the English branding was created. As you can see in the graph below, that seems to have accelerated WeChat’s growth even further, though Tencent has never released figures for the numbers of overseas users. However, Justin Sun, director of international WeChat operations at Tencent, told us last year that WeChat is seeing a growing ratio of overseas users and is proving to be a hit in Southeast Asia, America, and across the Middle East.

Tencent already has offices for its gaming operations in San Francisco; it’s not clear if the new office will be nearby – or precisely when it’ll open. We’ve reached out to Tencent at Shenzhen HQ who tell us: “We recently put together a small project team for WeChat to study the US market and explore future potential opportunities.”

WeChat is up against established messaging apps like Whatsapp, as well as a host of innovative Asian-made rivals. Aside from messaging, WeChat has a feature called Moments that allows users to share albums of photos and other things, making it a challenger to Path and Facebook as well. The biggest rival app out of Asia is NHN Japan’s Line app, which is also expanding aggressively into overseas markets.

Here’s WeChat’s growth in users thus far:

WeChat growth


This article by Steven Millward originally appeared on Tech in Asia, a Burn Media publishing partner.

email article email article print article print article

Related articles

Topics for this article

[ advertising enquiries ]

Share
  • BURN MEDIA TV

    WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE NOW
    Latest Episode
    iHub in Kenya.

MORE HEADLINES

news

VIEW MORE

interviews

VIEW MORE

future trends

VIEW MORE

entrepreneurship

VIEW MORE

social media

VIEW MORE

facebook

VIEW MORE

twitter

VIEW MORE

google

VIEW MORE

advertising & marketing

VIEW MORE

online media

VIEW MORE

design

VIEW MORE

mobile

VIEW MORE

More in News

Apple to compensate parents whose kids go app crazy

Read More »