Exactly how popular is messaging service WeChat in China? Well, statistics released yesterday by the team behind Weixin, the version of WeChat available in the country, reveal that a whopping 10 million messages were sent in one minute at peak on the eve of Chinese New Year (hat/tip Tech in Asia).

The team didn’t reveal the specific timing when 10 million messages were processed, but did note that the busiest periods on Weixin were at 10pm and midnight local time.

The number of messages sent this year was double that of last year, an indication of Weixin’s increasing use among the Chinese. The messaging service has an estimated 500 million plus registered users in China alone, while it has 270 million active users worldwide.

On the other hand, China’s Twitter-like service Sina Weibo broke its record for messages sent per minute after 863,408 ‘tweets’ were sent during the first minute of Chinese New Year.

Though the milestone is impressive, Weixin’s sheer number of messages processed puts Sina Weibo far behind it — and is an indicator that the latter probably has a cause for concern over a drop in activity as increased competition is reducing the time that users are spending on Weibo. However, it must be noted that both services serve different purposes, and it’s natural for many more private messages to be sent than broadcast in public — so the vast difference in figures should be taken with a pinch of salt too.

See also – Sina Weibo users set new messaging record, but is engagement on ‘China’s Twitter’ falling?