WeChat

WeChat (微信)
Developer(s)Tencent Holdings Limited
Initial release21 January 2011; 10 years ago (2011-01-21) (as Weixin)
Preview release(s)
Android7.0 / 19 November 2018; 2 years ago (2018-11-19)[1]
Operating systemAndroid, iOS, macOS, Windows
Available in17 languages
List of languages
Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Turkish
TypeInstant messaging client
LicenseProprietary freeware
Websitewww.wechat.com (International)
weixin.qq.com (China)

WeChat (Chinese: 微信; pinyin: Wēixìn About this soundpronunciation ; literally: "micro-message") is a Chinese mobile app with many uses, such as messaging, social media and mobile payment. It is made by Tencent. It has been the world's largest app since 2018, and has over 1 billion monthly active users.[2][3][4][5][6] It has been called China's "app for everything" because of how many uses it has.[7]

User information from the app is shared with the Chinese Government as part of the country's mass surveillance network.[8][9][10][11][12] WeChat censors some political topics in China.[13][14][15][16] Data from accounts outside of China is watched and analyzed and used to make censorship algorithms in China.[12][17]

References

  1. "WeChat APKs". APKMirror. Android Police. 19 November 2018. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  2. "WeChat now has over 1 billion active monthly users worldwide · TechNode". TechNode. 5 March 2018. Archived from the original on 7 April 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. "Tencent's Profit Is Better Than Expected". Bloomberg.com. 15 November 2017. Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. "WeChat users pass 900 million as app becomes integral part of Chinese lifestyle". The Drum. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  5. It's time for messaging apps to quit the bullshit numbers and tell us how many users are active Archived 29 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. techinasia.com. 23 January 2014. Steven Millward.
  6. "WeChat's world". The Economist. 16 August 2016. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 1 April 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  7. "How WeChat Became China's App For Everything". Fast Company. 2 January 2017. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  8. Cockerell, Isobel (9 May 2019). "Inside China's Massive Surveillance Operation". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  9. Dou, Eva (8 December 2017). "Jailed for a Text: China's Censors Are Spying on Mobile Chat Groups". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  10. McDonell, Stephen (7 June 2019). "WeChat and the Surveillance State". BBC. Archived from the original on 21 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  11. 人的監視から混合型監視へ 超万能WeChatの中国をモデルにする北朝鮮(3/3). KoreaWorldTimes (in Japanese). 7 August 2019. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Deibert, Ronald. "Opinion | WeChat users outside China face surveillance while training censorship algorithms". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  13. "China: World Leader of Internet Censorship". Human Rights Watch. 3 June 2011. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  14. Sonnad, Nikki (17 April 2017). "What happens when you try to send politically sensitive messages on WeChat". Quartz (publication). Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  15. Millward, Steven (10 January 2013). "Now China's WeChat App is Censoring Its Users Globally". Tech in Asia. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  16. Muncaster, Phil (11 January 2013). "China censors chat users outside China". The Register. Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  17. "We Chat, They Watch: How International Users Unwittingly Build up WeChat's Chinese Censorship Apparatus". The Citizen Lab. 2020-05-07. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-05.

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