Alibaba Group’s new mobile-messaging app, Laiwang, attracted more than 10 million users in the past month.
Alizila, the e-commerce news and corporate website of the Alibaba Group, reported that Alibaba Group Chief Executive Jonathan Lu attributed Laiwang’s growth to features such as sending a voice message that is subsequently deleted after the receiver has heard it and the ability to form chat groups of up to 500 people.
Company officials were also reported satisfied with the app's fast start and are unfazed that its main competitor - Tencent Holdings' WeChat - has more than 300 million users. The company has been ramping up its mobile offerings, including offering packages and free phones to Taobao merchants to embrace the mobile platform.
“Smartphones have become an integral part of life,” Lu said in a statement. “With consumer behavior changing, Alibaba Group must follow society, technology and users down the mobile path and into the wireless era.”
Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, is reportedly encouraging Alibaba employees to sign up 100 of their friends and family to help the app gain traction.
In the first half of 2013, the company also invested in Chinese online maps firm Autonavi and Sina Corp’s microblogging platform Weibo.