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Instant messaging services are big in China. No news there—as of May 2014, 65% of internet users in the country used WeChat, the No. 2 service in reach after QQ, according to research from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Overall, nearly nine in 10 internet users in the country reported using some kind of instant messaging service.
But the accounts followed on WeChat, one of the most popular messaging apps, don't tend to be brands. More than two in five WeChat users said they followed news media through the service, while more than a quarter followed celebrities. Brands were on the radar of 17.7% of respondents, and retailers just 13.9%.
While voice messaging was narrowly the most common activity conducted by WeChat users in China, 83.3% used the service for text messaging.
Just over a fifth of users said their WeChat activities included subscribing to official brand accounts, and a similar number indicated they shopped via the service.
CNNIC also found that 31.4% of WeChat users log on to the service more than once a day, with a further 24.9% logging on multiple times weekly.
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