Coolest Brands 2016: WeChat

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© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachovMessaging apps are eating the world — and in the case of WeChat, even the payments world. Texting plans in China are quite expensive, so messaging apps play a more important role there in simply communicating than elsewhere. WeChat, developed by the corporation Tencent, numbers more than 650 million users — 550 million in China alone — quickly instituted P2P payments, following this up with payments to brands and retailers.

The WeChat Wallet was born, and is a smashing success. During the recent Lunar New Year, a six-day holiday, more than 32 billion red envelopes — digital transactions — were made via WeChat. That’s 10x last year’s number. Simply put, WeChat is living the dream U.S. tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google are still far from achieving.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at

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