Earlier today, TrustArc announced that WeChat, the leading mobile social communication application for smartphones, and its website (www.wechat.com), are now certified by TRUSTe.

The global certification covers WeChat in 17 different languages, 5 different mobile operating systems (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, and Windows Phone), and is part of WeChat’s ongoing commitment to online privacy, transparency, and consumer choice.

Over the last year, WeChat has seen phenomenal market growth, almost tripling its users from 2012 to 2013. In July 2013, it became the most downloaded mobile communication app from official stores in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey.

WeChat is now the 5th most downloaded app in the world, with more than 100 million registered accounts outside of China.

WeChat users can add friends via a wide range of innovative actions and methods, including scanning QR codes, connecting users’ phone books and activating location-based functions such as People Nearby and Shake.

The platform enhances social interaction by supporting exchanging of text, voice and video, stickers, and photos with their friends over data networks or under Wi-Fi environments. Users can choose to communicate one-on-one, or within their closed social network through Moments.

However, the TRUSTe Privacy Index 2013 revealed 78% of US smartphone users will not download an app that they do not trust and so addressing consumer privacy concerns is key to global expansion for companies such as WeChat.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and concerned about what personal information companies are collecting about them and how it is being used,” said Chris Babel, CEO of TrustArc.

“Strong data privacy management practices are essential for any business looking to take advantage of new opportunities on mobile while building trust and protecting their brand.”

By achieving TRUSTe certification, WeChat is demonstrating to millions of global users a clear commitment to privacy and transparency about how data is collected and used within the app.

TrustArc is the number one global privacy brand so displaying the TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal within WeChat and its website can help to increase trust and support WeChat’s growth in wider international markets.

Poshu Yeung, Vice President of the International Business Group at Tencent (the company behind the WeChat app) explains,“This is a true milestone for WeChat. WeChat has more than 100 million registered user accounts around the globe and is revolutionizing the way people communicate in their daily lives by providing a completely unique experience.

Now with TRUSTe certification, WeChat users can have peace-of-mind knowing their data is well protected when they are keeping in touch with friends, meeting new people and having fun with WeChat.”