Chinese mobile phone users sent out a total of 699.2 billion short messages in 2015, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China.
MIIT's satistics also showed that the year of 2012 was the peak for short messages in China. Since then, the number of short messages sent out continued to decrease year by year despite the fact that the number of Chinese mobile phone users kept growing.
In 2012, Chinese mobile phone users sent out 900 billion short messages; in 2013, the number of sent short messages decreased by 1%; in 2014 it decreased by 14%; and in 2015 it decreased to 699.2 billion short messages.
At the same time, the number of mobile phone users in China continued to increase. MIIT's report showed that from 2012 to 2015, China added nearly 200 million mobile phone users.
The decline of short messages is mainly attributed to the rise of mobile communication apps like Weibo and Wechat, and those apps are more popular in China than in many other countries and regions. Meanwhile, with a large population base, the number of instant messaging users in China is also larger than in other countries and regions.
The penetration rate of instant messaging apps is high in China. In 2015, about two-thirds of mobile netizens downloaded and used instant messaging apps, which equals to two-fifths of total mobile phone users in China.