WeChat Revenue and Usage Statistics (2021)

Mansoor Iqbal

Updated: June 21, 2021

WeChat was launched in 2011 as Weixin, Mandarin for ‘micro-message’. As the name suggests, it originally functioned as a simple messenger app, a Chinese equivalent to WhatsApp in essence.

WeChat was developed by and belongs to Chinese tech behemoth Tencent, one of the most valuable companies in the world. Other names in the Tencent stable include QQ Messenger and Tencent Music.

Though it started as a simple messenger platform, WeChat has become far more than that. Through its mini programs platform, WeChat has essentially become the home screen for many Chinese smartphone users, as almost every function can be completed from inside the app.

Some of the most popular applications in China, including Pinduoduo, JD.com, DiDi and Meituan, all have mini programs on WeChat. Tencent takes a small slice of revenue from each of these mini programs, and also provides the payments platform.

As the platform operator, Tencent is able to see which programs are the most popular. It has become one of the largest investors in China, second only to Sequoia China, and alongside hundreds of stakes in Chinese startups it also has shares in Snapchat, Fortnite and Tesla Motors.

WeChat is the only app in China to have over one billion active users and is one of only five apps in the world which have surpassed that milestone. WeChat Pay, which was built using the framework of Tenpay, has over 900 million users and has supplanted AliPay as the most popular payment service in the country.

Tencent has attempted to launch WeChat outside of China, but most of these attempts have failed. It is popular in Hong Kong and some South-east Asian territories, but has failed to interest Western audiences.

We have collected data and statistics on WeChat. Read on below to find out more.

WeChat key statistics 

  • Tencent’s social network revenue was 108.2 billion RMB in 2020, which accounts for 22% of the company’s total revenue
  • In Q1 2021, WeChat had 1.24 billion active users
  • WeChat has 3.2 million mini programs on its platform, which transacted 1.6 trillion RMB in 2020
  • 45 billion messages were sent daily in January 2019 on WeChat

WeChat overview

Launch date 21 January 2011
HQ Shenzen, China
People Allen Zhang (WeChat founder), Ma Huateng (Tencent CEO), Martin Lau (Tencent President)
Parent company Tencent
Business type Public (SEHK:700, OTC:TCEHY)

WeChat revenue

Year Revenue
2015 24.1 billion RMB*
2016 37 billion RMB
2017 56.1 billion RMB
2018 72.7 billion RMB
2019 82.3 billion RMB
2020 108.2 billion RMB

Note: This includes all of Tencent social media revenue. It is difficult to accurately quantify WeChat revenue, as games, payments and other services are run through the app but reported separately. 

*As of June 21 2021 1 RMB = 0.15 USD

Source: Tencent

Tencent revenue

Year Revenue
2015 $16.5 billion
2016 $22.8 billion
2017 $35.1 billion
2018 $47.2 billion
2019 $54.5 billion
2020 $73.9 billion

Source: Tencent via Macrotrends

WeChat mini programs annual transactions

Year Annual transactions
2017 210 billion RMB
2018 440 billion RMB
2019 800 billion RMB
2020 1.6 trillion RMB

Source: Walk the Chat

WeChat users

Year Users
2012 50 million
2013 195 million
2014 396 million
2015 549 million
2016 762 million
2017 938 million
2018 1.04 billion
2019 1.17 billion
2020 1.2 billion
2021 1.24 billion

Source: Tencent

WeChat Pay users

Year Users
2016 430 million
2017 600 million
2018 720 million
2019 800 million
2020 865 million
2021 900 million

Sources: Tencent, TechCrunch

WeChat at Work users

Year Users
2017 30 million
2018 45 million
2019 60 million
2020 70 million

Source: Tencent

WeChat mini programs

Year Mini programs
2017 0.58 million
2018 2.3 million
2019 3 million
2020 3.2 million

Source: Daxue Consulting

WeChat daily messages sent

Year Messages sent
2016 30 billion
2017 38 billion
2018 41 billion
2019 45 billion

Sources: ZDNetChina Daily

WeChat FAQ

How popular is WeChat?

WeChat is used by 78 percent of 16-64 year olds in China and is the most popular social network in China (Hootsuite/We Are Social)

How many audio and video calls are made on WeChat everyday?

410 million audio and video calls per day on WeChat (ZDNet)

How much data does WeChat use?

46TB of data is used over one minute of the morning rush hour on WeChat (TechNode)

How many WeChat users use Moments?

WeChat Moments counts 750 million daily users (TechNode)

What is the average daily usage on WeChat?

The average user spends 82 minutes each day on WeChat (Walk the Chart)

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