(Yicai Global) Dec. 10 -- Tencent Holdings, the tech giant behind two of China's most popular instant messaging apps WeChat and QQ, is preparing to release another as competition heats up in the social networking arena, The Paper reported today.
Pengyou, which means 'friend' in Mandarin, is a Facebook-like app based on friendship chains that can help users find new friends with similar interests, the report said, adding that it can intelligently match content and pictures.
Users need to provide their real names, gender as well as educational backgrounds and work experience, the report said. They can select filters such as looking for a romantic relationship, friendship or sports buddy. They can also turn off the 'detectable' function if they want to remain undisturbed.
Shenzhen-based Tencent dominates the social networking market in China. The number of monthly active users on all-purpose app WeChat was 1.2 billion in the third quarter, representing an annual gain of 6 percent. But the firm still needs to keep ahead of the baying pack which includes such heavyweights as ByteDance Technology and Alibaba Group Holding.
ByteDance, the Beijing-based tech giant behind short video app TikTok, launched Duoshan, a Snapchat-like video-based social messaging app, in January, and Feiliao, an interest-based social app that allows users to join chat groups on different topics, in May.
E-commerce titan Alibaba released Ruwo for university students on Sept. 24. It has also allegedly updated its original messaging app Laiwang. Dating apps such as, Momo, Tantan, Summer and Soul, in particular, are very popular.
Pengyou is still undergoing final tests and the date of its official release is not yet known.