French ad firm CEO says China’s WeChat 'much better than the Facebooks of the world'
Yannick Bolloré says the last 20 years for China are 'by far the most impressive recovery story for a country'
Chinese social media platform WeChat is better for marketers than Western offerings such as Facebook, the chief executive of Havas, a top advertising firm, told CNBC on Monday.
WeChat is owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent and boasts 700 million monthly active users, according to data tracker Quest Mobile. It is the dominant messaging service in the world's second-largest economy.
The app allows people to text and voice call each other, make payments, and interact with "bots" – a similar feature to what Facebook unveiled last week.
The ability to make payments and even book restaurants means WeChat has become a big part of Chinese phone users' lives.
For marketers looking to advertise to Chinese consumers, this is attractive.
"Social platforms are very important in my industry. I would say that the best social platform in the world for me is WeChat, it's much better than the Facebooks of the world," Yannick Bolloré, the chief executive of Havas, said on Monday.
"We always say that Chinese people are very good at copying. Now they are very good at creating things, it could roll out one day eventually in the rest of the world," he added.
Bolloré's comments were part of a wider discussion about the Chinese economy, in which the head of the French company said China was still attractive for businesses.
"If you look at China in the last 20 years, it's by far the most impressive recovery story for a country. And we still have only a few portions of Chinese people that have accessed the Middle Class, and it's already a booming economy," Bolloré said.
"If you imagine in the future, more and more people will join the Middle Class in China – for me China will continue to grow in the next decade at a very high rate."
Havas is one of the world's largest advertising and communication companies, with a market capitalization of around 3 billion euros (US$3.4 billion).