Creativity 50 2013: Allen Zhang
Senior VP, tencentBy: Anita Chang Beattie, Published: Jun 05, 2013
Chinese mobile app WeChat has more than 300 million registered user accounts, including 50 million outside the country. How has it achieved such traction since launching in 2011? Look to Allen Zhang, SVP at Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant behind WeChat. Mr. Zhang was in charge of developing the platform and tailored it to the habits of smartphone owners. Users can trade audio messages, which is faster than typing on a touchscreen and easy to do while walking or driving.
They can share photos and status updates with friends, or look for new friends by shaking their phones. It's a mashup of WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Skype -- and continuing to evolve under Mr. Zhang's direction as Tencent tries to deliver a multipurpose mobile platform. WeChat is expected to eventually offer games and e-commerce transactions. Tencent is banking on WeChat's universal appeal as it seeks international growth.