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WeChat to Expand in Global Market

China Daily, June 9, 2013 Adjust font size:

WeChat, a mobile chatting tool developed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, is discussing cooperation with Chinese mobile carriers and exploring opportunities to expand overseas, according to Tencent's chairman.

WeChat, a mobile application that gained more than 400 million users in about two years, will never charge fees from customers, said Pony Ma on Thursday at a Guangdong forum. He made the remarks in response to media questions on WeChat’s conflict with mobile operators’ businesses.

Previously, Chinese media reported that Tencent was considering levying money from WeChat users, because of potential financial burden imposed by domestic telecom operators.

"In the short run, we see conflict and substitute effect (more people use WeChat rather than traditional voice service and text messages provided by telecom carriers)," Ma said. "However, I believe a cooperation between the two sides will introduce a better user experience and that will be a trend."

Ma said WeChat is in talks with Chinese telecom carriers and some progress will be heard soon.

In addition, Ma said Tencent is trying to figure out plans for Tencent’s global expansion. “Currently, Tencent enjoyed fames in China. However, outside the country, few people know us,” he said.

Tencent schedules to step into the global market and enhance its branding overseas. "There is plenty of room for us to promote the globalization of WeChat services and even other online communality services," Ma added.

WeChat has more than 50 million users in the overseas market, according to public figures.

"The Internet industry is changing fast. If we make incorrect judgment, we may lose everything we’ve gained in the past decade," Ma said.

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