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This week, our Head of Trends is touring Asia to discuss the international success that messaging app WeChat is enjoying in APAC.

The app has built a commanding lead within the region; it is currently being used by close to 40% of internet users – giving it a reach more than twice that of second-placed Facebook Messenger.

WeChat remains wildly popular in China – where the majority of online adults are using it – but it’s been enjoying very strong rates of growth across the whole of Asia. Between Q1 2013 and Q3 2014, WeChat’s APAC membership base in fact grew by an impressive 150% – with the service adding an extra 200 million users. To put that in context, its new user base is the equivalent in size of Brazil’s entire population, with places like Singapore, Malaysia and India all seeing huge increases.

Clearly, then, WeChat is becoming a truly international force. And with parent-company Tencent recently announcing the launch of Dianhua and Lighttalk, dedicated internet calling apps for its domestic and international users respectively – the former of which requires a WeChat account – it’s likely that we’ll see further growth here in the months ahead.

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