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This article was published on August 26, 2013

Sina, China’s answer to Twitter, enters the mobile messaging battle with its own app

Sina, China’s answer to Twitter, enters the mobile messaging battle with its own app
Jon Russell
Story by

Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Sina, China’s equivalent to Twitter, has jumped on the mobile messaging bandwagon after it began promoting its new app WeMeet, known as ‘Weimi’ in Chinese.

WeMeet has actually been around since April and is developed by 20-person Hangzhou Kuyue Technology, a team incubated within Sina, according to Marbridge. Nonetheless the official ‘launch’ is significant since it follows Sina CEO Charles Chao revealing imminent plans to launch a social app to compete with the mobile apps that he previously admitted are causing Weibo users to spend less time on the service.

Weibo has over 500 million registered users, more than 50 million of which are active each day, but it is under pressure from WeChat, the mobile messaging app developed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which has 235 million monthly active users across China and overseas.

The WeMeet app links up to Weibo, as you’d expect, and has a particular focus on group chat. It supports all the standard messaging types and lets users import contacts from Weibo as well as the address book on their device. Interestingly, it has Snapchat-style self-destructing messages, RSS feed support and numerous public interest groups where users can voice their opinions.

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Chao will hope WeMeet steels up Sina’s social push in the face of increasing competition, but the truth is that it is very late to the game. China Telecom even beat Sina to the punch, launching its own app last week, while WeChat is beginning tostrike partnerships with operators — all of which means promoting the app via Weibo alone is unlikely to turn WeMeet into a serious rival, Sina will need a real growth strategy and probably some luck too.

First spotted by Technode, WeMeet is in Chinese only, however it is available worldwide for iOS and Android which suggests that further language support could come later.

➤ WeMeet: iOS | Android (APK)

Headline image via TNW

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