China’s equivalent to Twitter, Sina, has entered into the fray of the mobile messaging war with its new app called WeMeet, or “Weimi” in Mandarin, and will have to duke it out with popular services such as Tencent’s WeChat.
WeMeet was developed by a 20-person team, Hangzhou Kuyue Technology, and has actually been around since April. The Hangzhou Kuyue Technology team was incubated within Sina, according to a post by Marbridge, and with WeMeet, will aim to shake up the mobile messaging space, especially in China.
WeMeet is significant because it could be the antidote to the reduced time users are spending on Sina Weibo — Sina’s microblogging website that is part Twitter, part Facebook. The popularity of rival messaging app WeChat (from Chinese tech-giant Tencent) is mainly to blame for this. Weibo has over 500-million registered users, of which approximately 50-million are active every day, but WeChat enjoys 235 monthly active users worldwide.
WeMeet has been set up to link to Weibo, allowing people to invite Weibo friends and contacts, via their handset, to join WeMeet automatically making both parties WeMeet contacts if the invitee joins the platform. WeMeet focuses on group chat and users can also share status updates.
Interestingly, WeMeet is a location-based social networking service, which enables it to differentiate itself from WeChat. For example groups are not limited to friends, and there are many public interest groups which are likely to be formed around a location – such as a neighbourhood watch – allowing members to get a broader use from the service.
Whether Sina and WeMeet has what it takes to cement a strong market position in the mobile messaging landscape is yet to be seen as it faces stiff competition from even China Telecom and its app “Yixin” which was released last week, reports The Next Web.
WeMeet is currently only available in Chinese, although it is listed worldwide on the iOS store and Google Play indicating that more languages are to come soon. Once WeMeet’s reach extends beyond China it will be more indicative of how it will fare in the space.