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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