WeChat strengthens presence in Malaysia

Mobile social communication app WeChat has reached 549 million monthly active users (MAUs) globally, a jump from the 500 million users-mark achieved three months ago.

In Malaysia, WeChat boasts a 95% smartphone penetration rate.

According to WeChat, Malaysia is a key market for the app as it aims to transform social interaction into a platform for brands to interact with their consumers.

A WeChat spokesperson told A+M that the company is looking to expand the app’s local reach and relevancy to the Malaysian audiences. "Some of the local initiatives include working with local designers to design localised stickers such as Sushi Sushi, StyloMalaysia (emoji characters with Malaysian slang), and Slanga (Malaysian local slangs)," the spokesperson said.

WeChat is also working together with local partners such as Digi. In this collaboration, the official account enables its customers to access their users’ personal account where they can check their account status, rewards as well as to make transactions such as purchase reload.

The app company also tied up with WeReward - where Malaysian users can redeem deals and coupons by just making voice calls in the app. In addition, WeChat worked with entertainment channels such as Astro Gempak and Era FM, where the app was used as the official social platform for voting and interaction with fans.

A research released by GlobalWebIndex (GWI) in November 2014 showed the active user base in Malaysia has grown by 1187% from Q1 2013 to Q3 2014.

The app is most popular with young demographic aged between 16 to 34 years old, with this age group dominating more than 80% of the WeChat user base.

“We are excited about WeChat’s stellar growth momentum both globally and throughout Malaysia. We will continue to focus on enhancing user interaction by broadening the activities from social and communications to gaming, entertainment, media content and beyond,” said Louis Song, country manager for Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for WeChat from Tencent, the company behind the WeChat app.