Which were the most used apps in China during Lunar New Year? Familiar names like Tencent and ByteDance dominated top 5

Top 5 apps combined used more than 75% of mobile data during the holiday period, according to MIIT report. Tencent and ByteDance each had two apps in the top five, with four of the five being more than a decade old. — SCMP

The most used apps in China during the Lunar New Year holiday were familiar domestic social media and content platforms that have dominated the market for the past decade, according to government data.

Among the apps that used the most cellular data during the nine-day holiday were Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok owned by ByteDance, Tencent Holdings’ super app WeChat, China’s second-largest short video platform Kuaishou, Tencent Video and Jinri Toutiao, the news aggregator that also belongs to ByteDance.

These apps combined used more than 75% of mobile data during the period, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Tencent and ByteDance each had two apps in the top five. Four of the top five apps have a history of more than 10 years, with the youngest app being Douyin, which was launched almost eight years ago. This is the first time that the MIIT has released a top-five app ranking for the holiday period.

In 2021, a report issued by the MIIT for the Lunar New Year period revealed that the volume of virtual red packets sent via digital wallet Alipay soared 270%. Alipay is operated by Ant Group, a fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, which also owns the Post. In 2019, online marketplace JD.com saw its sales grow nearly 43% during the holiday.

Alibaba created Alipay in 2004, whereas JD.com was established in 1998.

“It seems increasingly difficult to see phenomenal new apps emerging in the Internet market”, said Guo Tao, a Beijing-based angel investor, adding that the market is saturated with users resistant to change.

Guo said that if a breakthrough app does emerge in the near future, it is likely to involve artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) or extended reality, an umbrella term that covers virtual and augmented reality.

However, some of the dominant apps are going through change, with WeChat – originally a messaging app – betting big on short video with its in-app WeChat Channels, and Douyin setting out ambitious goals for ecommerce.

After achieving a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of 2.2 trillion yuan (RM1.46 trillion) in 2023, Douyin’s online shopping channel aims to grow this to 3 trillion yuan (RM1.99 trillion), according to Chinese media LatePost.

Douyin is focused on low pricing as a priority for the year, placing it in head-to-head competition with Pinduoduo, PDD Holdings’ flagship app in China for budget-conscious consumers, the report said. – South China Morning Post

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