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November 18, 2016

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Expansion Difficulties For WeChat

TENCENT CEO Pony Ma told a forum at the World Internet Conference yesterday that there were difficulties in expanding its WeChat service overseas.

“It is very hard for WeChat to expand overseas, unless we can offer a wholly different customer experience, but social apps are basically all alike,” Ma said. “In markets dominated by WhatsApp or Line, we can’t challenge them.”

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular instant messenger, with close to a billion active users. WeChat has around 650 million, mostly in China.

Tencent rose to prominence with its QQ messaging service in the late 1990s and came to dominate China’s social networking market with WeChat a decade later.

The service has gained a foothold in some overseas markets, especially in Malaysia, but elsewhere users are mainly ethnic Chinese.

However, Ma said he remains interested in expanding overseas in other fields.



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