JOHANNESBURG—Fast-growing messaging app WeChat has hired Waggener Edstrom to drive its PR strategy in South Africa.

The app, which is owned by China's Tencent, is being backed by media giant Naspers in South Africa. After launching in the country last year, WeChat has already reached 5% mobile penetration and is aiming to crack double-digits within the next year. 

In common with China, where it has more than 350m users, WeChat is also planning to build a strong brand offering in South Africa, and is currently working with companies such as CliffCentral, Hungry Lion, and Dream School SA.

“The WeChat brand relies on out-of-the-box thinking – Waggener Edstrom understands this," said Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa. "We’re confident that they will help us grow our user base and tell the WeChat story in an exciting, engaging and exceptional way."

Wag-Ed account director Patricia McClelland said the firm would use content marketing across broadcast, print and digital channels to tell the WeChat story. “Consumer-focused wins like these are crucial as they help us attract new talent and brands.”