Chinese internet giant Tencent’s WeChat super app continued its notable growth across services from e-commerce to payments through 2021, despite a regulatory clampdown that sought to de-monopolize areas of China’s internet arena, reports Bloomberg. Daily active users of WeChat mini-programs—smaller apps within the main platform—grew about 12.5% to 450 million in 2021.
The app’s native search function—a feature once touted as Tencent’s answer to Baidu’s dominance—added 200 million monthly users over the past year. Having amassed more than a billion users in China and across the globe, WeChat is the payment and smartphone backbone to Tencent’s sprawling internet empire that spans social media, gaming and enterprise software.
The Chinese behemoth’s signature creation has evolved over the years, offering new features like download-free lite apps and short-video feeds that encroach on the home turf of rivals such as Alibaba and ByteDance.