Whatsapp users are more likely to use Facebook to track friends and family members in countries with more surveillance than the US, according to a new study by research firm IDC.
A majority of Chinese mobile users said they use Facebook for private business purposes, while less than a third use it for social or political purposes, according the study, which was released Thursday.
The study, the first of its kind, was conducted by IDC and its partners in collaboration with The Wall St. Journal.
More than 20 million people have joined Whatsapp in the past year, which is nearly double the number of users in the US who have joined the app.
While Facebook has more than 1.6 billion users, Whatsapp has 1.8 billion active users, according IDC, which said the majority of the growth comes from the China market, where Whatsapp is dominant.
Facebook has recently been facing criticism from Chinese authorities for using data from Chinese citizens to monitor its users and its content.
The Chinese government has banned some foreign social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
The Wall Street Review and the Chinese government have also blocked Whatsapp’s localisation service and blocked some foreign apps.