What Do WeChat Emojis Really Mean?

What Do WeChat Emojis Really Mean?

WeChat has just released a big study, revealing who uses what emojis in China and what they really mean.

If you’re new to China and so new to WeChat, you might want to think again before sending certain emojis, as your Chinese friends might be a little confused…

For example, you might want to avoid using the 🙂 smiley face with your friends, they could react weirdly. You might think you’re expressing happiness, but your Chinese friend will think you’re mocking them with a hostile face!

The waving hand that you use to greet or say goodbye? 👋 You can wave that one aside. This can be interpreted as that you have just said something silly and the sender no longer wants to speak to you. Oops!

Received a WeChat with a mysterious nose pick?  This isn’t what you think it means, but you might have just said something that they think is dumb! 

Asking for a favour? 😳 You might want to use this one. When asking for favours it’s always polite to act embarrassed.

WeChat Emojis by Age Group

wechat emoji icon
This year, over 220 billion messages were exchanged over WeChat. WeChat Annual Report 2018 has revealed their favourite emoji’s according to age group! And not only their favourite emoji, but also their daily habits 🙀


So if you’re born after 2000, you probably prefer to use the facepalm emoji 🤦. Their favourite thing to do according to WeChat? Stay up late and wake up early. This is no surprise, typical of any school kids really! They also really have a sweet tooth, having increased their WeChat payments on drinks and ice cream by 230%! 🍦


90s kids are a little lazier than their younger counterparts apparently, but they laugh a lot. Their favourite emoji? 😂 of course. This was also Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2015! But they like to sleep in late and ride on public transport more than any other age group. They are also the biggest users of WeChat.


Those born during the 80s frequently use the happy face with smiling eyes 😄. They also enjoy reading national news related content 📰.

1970s & 55+

Born in the 70s? You might be more inclined the use the snigger emoji. These users also enjoy browsing through their WeChat Moments (similar to a Facebook wall). By the time you’re 55+ you will have probably moved on to a simple 👍. Quick and easy and gets the point across!

Want to use WeChat but not sure where to start? Click here for an introduction to WeChat! 

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