Home China A Guide to the Internet in China: WeChat

A Guide to the Internet in China: WeChat


WeChat is a mobile communication and social networking app that allows users to send and receive text messages, instant voice messages, photos, group messages, and share their locations. WeChat is the most used-app for Chinese users in the world’s biggest telecom market where it’s known as Weixin.

Launched in 2011, WeChat is the brainchild of Tencent, the largest Internet company in China. WeChat is often compared to WhatsApp but adds a number of monetizing (profit-making) innovations from playing mobile games and hailing taxis to posting videos and making online payments. Since 2012, WeChat has made exploratory pushes into India, Europe and South Africa with the help of famous celebrities and sports stars.

WeChat is closely monitored by the Chinese government with authorities targeting users’ instant messaging services in the most recent censorship campaign according to state media, Xinhua. The mainland’s state broadcaster CCTV also criticized the messaging service for bombarding users with deceptive ads and excessive information. While censorship may not pose an immediate threat to WeChat’s popularity in China, it could undermine its global expansion plans.

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