Popular messaging app WeChat now has 438 million monthly active users, up from 396 million the previous quarter, according the app's developer Tencent, which released its Q2 earnings report today. That figure makes WeChat almost as big as WhatsApp, which claims 500 million active users per month.

That figure covers both WeChat and Weixin, the version Tencent offers in China, but it also reveals that the app's growth is slowing and thus it likely won't be easy for the service to catch up to its Facebook-owned competitor.

One of the main reasons behind WeChat's flattening growth is it nearing the market saturation point in Mainland China, where it has its largest userbase. Tencent has been aggressively pushing the app in international markets and last year revealed WeChat has 100 million registered users outside China, but has been tight lipped on any such numbers since then.

WeChat is also facing difficulties in China after the government passed a new law that requires users of instant messaging services to use their real names when registering. The regulation is aimed at safeguarding national security and public interests.

Back in June, Tencent revealed that it had shut down 30,000 public fake accounts, as well as a whopping 20 million accounts that were linked to providing prostitution services.