The popular Chinese messaging app is used across the Chinese diaspora but may be unfamiliar outside of those circles.
So what is it?
WeChat, called Weixin in China, functions like Facebook(FB), LinkedIn, Uber, Instagram and several other apps all at once. For many Chinese people, WeChat is an indispensable app for staying in touch across the world.
Some of that success has been aided by the government. China blocked many American apps including Facebook, Google and Twitter(TWTR), so state-sponsored apps have become the norm.
WeChat is owned by Tencent(TCEHY), China’s biggest tech company and the world’s largest gaming company. In March, Tencent reported that WeChat has nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users. The company does not disclose user numbers by country, but industry analysts say the vast majority of them are in China.
The app has been subsidized by the Chinese government since its creation in 2011.
What can you do on WeChat?
WeChat has a lot more functionality in China than it does in the United States. While in America, you can hail a cab, play mini games, post to your “story” and send money.
By comparison in China, where stores regularly accept WeChat Pay as a form of payment and QR codes are all over cities, the sky’s the limit. Inside WeChat, you can pay bills, check out restaurant menus, find local hangouts, book doctor appointments, reach out to Source…
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