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Virus Outbreak Sparked WeChat Traffic Surge, Tencent President Says

By Ding Yi / Mar 19, 2020 01:57 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The president of Tencent said Wednesday that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to growth in traffic to its “super-app” WeChat.

Since early February, the outbreak has drawn 8 billion visits to the multi-purpose platform’s Health Code service, which allows users to obtain a log of their physical status by scanning embedded QR codes, Tencent’s president Martin Lau said during a fourth-quarter earnings call. Users then present their Health Codes before entering public places such as residential communities and office buildings.

According to Lau, Tencent has rolled out the Health Code system in more than 300 Chinese cities and counties amid government calls for tech firms to contribute to the battle against the disease.

The outbreak has also bolstered the popularity of other services including Tencent Meeting and Tencent Health, which respectively help workers to conduct teleconferences and dispense information about the epidemic.

Lau said that Tencent Meeting allowed people to organize online meetings while working from home, but did not specify the number of users who have signed up for the service during the outbreak. Tencent Meeting, which was launched in December, has had over 10 million daily active users so far, the company said.

Meanwhile, Tencent Health, a mini-program that runs on the WeChat platform, also launched an artificial intelligence-powered tool to help people find out whether they have the coronavirus, Lau said, adding that more than 300 million WeChat users used the service so far.

Wednesday’s earnings call came after Tencent announced its profit rose by 52% to 21.6 billion yuan in the last three months of last year.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Tencent Q4 Profit Rises 52% on Growing International Games, Fintech Businesses


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