Beyond WeChat: Top Eleven New Social Media Apps Used in China

Alternative to WeChat: Top 7 New Social Media Apps Used in China

Wechat and Weibo are the social media giants most used in China. Each has more than a half-billion active users. Now China has specialized social networks for all kind of users and groups. The internet users in China want to feel really connected and have fun using all these new apps. These apps are not designed to replace WeChat or Weibo. However, there are several WeChat alternatives that offer features like video chat, voice messages, and screen sharing. Some of the services these new social media apps used in China provide can be integrated into WeChat or Weibo functionalities. The idea is that they are useful because they are community-based on a specific field. We can find social media focused on moms, gamers, photos, food or even fashion. The apps do one thing and excel in this field.



It’s the most popular dating network in China. They received US$5M in series A funding, and this copycat of Tinder will get more popular this year. People who are familiar with the Western dating app Tinder will recognize that’s a COPY of the site. Set up a photo profile and search for single people in your area. If you don’t like the person you see, swipe left and move on to the next person’s photo. Tinder has been blocked in China as a dangerous app, so this local copycat has free access to the market.

Active Monthly Users: 14 Million



MeetYou was designed to track menstruation. But it evolved into something more social with more functionalities. It’s now health and lifestyle-oriented social media for women of different ages. It still has the period-tracking feature and has added other features like health diary. You’ll find active users related to health, weight loss, clothing, fitness, relationships and travel on this app. It’s pretty successful and has 2 million users with 1.2 million daily active users. The startup started this year with $15 million in funding and obtained another $30 million in June.

Total Users: 300 Million


Laiwang is the only app on this list that could completely replace WeChat or Weibo. It has all the functionality of the other apps. Laiwang was created by Alibaba as it’s messaging app, but after a large update, it’s not emphasizing messaging anymore and is putting all the focus on themed groups. Laiwang allows users to create groups for themed discussions. It also ensures privacy and security with end-to-end encryption.

“Laiwang has changed its main focus from being an instant messaging app to providing more focused social networking services. It enables users not to only keep in touch with the friends that they already know, but also find more people who share the same interests and interact with them,” explained an Alibaba representative to TechinAsia.

Now it is a specialized, community-based social network that could be used with a WeChat marketing campaign and Weibo. Very few people that use Laiwang can explain the purpose of the app. Which makes it tough to use it purely for messaging. However, Laiwang excels in providing seamless group chat communication for both professional and social interactions. The e-commerce titan hasn’t revealed the user numbers for Laiwang.

Total Users: 10 Million


Momo Chinese social media app

Momo is the largest of these specialized social networks with over 100 million registered users and 52 million monthly active users. After gaining traction, the flirting app quickly hit 10 million registered users. Soon after, Momo obtained $40 million in funding from the giant Chinese e-commerce Alibaba.

But Momo is not just a chatting and hook-ups app. It has evolved to include theme-based interest groups and added Foursquare-style check-ins. This feature makes the app even more social, and makes users stay longer after the initial curiosity of simply testing out a dating app. The app also moved into social gaming in order to diversify its services. There are now several Momo-branded casual games that integrate with the social network part of the app. Momo also facilitates group calls, enhancing its communication features. It followed the example of the giant social networks Facebook and WeChat recently, emphasizing its video call features.

Monthly Active Uses: 66 Million


Pengpeng, an onomatopoeic name like “pew pew”, is one of the weirdest social networks in China. It’s a mobile social gaming app that also includes dating features. The concept here is to use games to break the ice and create some new relationships. Among its many games, quizzes and personality tests. The results of which form a part of the big data used to match the users. Most of Pengpeng’s games are self-developed, but it has also opened it’sAPI to other developers. The startup says it has 300,000 daily users in just 2 months after its launch.

Total Users: 4 Million


Pinco is a photo app and social circle for selfies, and displaying the things you own. It seems like Instagram, but it involves showing off. You take a photo, add filters, and then tag the brands and products like your Macbook computer, Starbucks coffee, Guess bag, Calvin Klein T-shirt, etc. The user created tagged photos can also be shared on other social media apps like Weibo or Wechat. This app is designed for fashion-addicts and following the latest trends in fashion.


This app appeared with a feature initially looked like a gimmick (the users can attach a vocal message to photos). But it turned out that people like the idea. Users can also send voice notes in individual or group chats. The app keeps growing and is now one of the biggest social photo apps in China. Papa has now over 20 million of active users in China.

Total Users: 10 Million

WeChat Alternative Social Media Apps Used in China Conclusion:

Chinese Social Networks are becoming more targeted. Weibo and Wechat may lose market share in the future because Chinese users may find more communities, like these new social media apps used in China, that can answer to their needs.

Further Reading: WeChat Marketing: 10 Tips to Market Your Brand on WeChat

Hero photo by 贝莉儿 DANIST on Unsplash

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Olivier Verot
Olivier Verot
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One comment

  1. Really Great article about Chinese Social networks. The best one I read until now.

    First one did not put Renren, the old Facebook that nobody use.
    and Qzone, totally not a social networks actually

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