Tech in Asia — Last week, WeChat rolled out its answer to Slack, WeChat Enterprise. But while Slack itself has never had a large presence in China, WeChat isn’t waltzing into this market alone – Alibaba’s DingTalk was there first, and the company isn’t looking to give in easily.
The Next Web — WeChat is ready to take on a new market: the office. The company today launched WeChat Enterprise, essentially its competitor to the ever-growing Slack. First announced in March, it has most of the features you expect from standard WeChat. You can make groups, send photos, voice clips, files, locations and even stickers. However, it differentiates itself with a few work-centric changes.
Add this to the list of things you can do with WeChat: buy Apple gadgets. Tencent’s messaging-app-cum-everything-platform announced Wednesday that support for WeChat Pay has been added to Apple’s official online stores in China. That means that you can now use WeChat pay for all of your Apple gadget and accessory needs.
Tech in Asia — The battle over the Chinese epayment market is raging fiercely now that Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have taken to the field in China. But WeChat Pay is heading in the opposite direction: the service announced yesterday that it’s launching support for overseas vendors. The system will allow Chinese users to put money into their WeChat Pay accounts in RMB (as they currently do).
Tech in Asia — The trend of buying things through chat has taken off in such a big way in China that some wonder if it’s a sign that chat commerce will pose a threat to conventional ecommerce around the world. The prime example of this trend is WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app that just turned five years old. Some of our writers have spent entire days using nothing but the chat app – and have all lived to tell the tale.
Telecom Asia — WeChat has launched its payment service WeChat Pay in Hong Kong, including the new Wallet in-app payment feature. Wallet allows WeChat users to connect their MasterCard or Visa credit cards with their accounts to allow them to pay for products and services without having to exit the WeChat app.
China Tech News — Tencent’s WeChat launched a new function named “WeChat Out”, which allows users to call fixed-line phones or mobile phones, aiming to compete with its Asian competitor Line. This new function is currently only available in some markets outside mainland China, including the U.S., Hong Kong, and India. However, Tencent promised that it will soon be available in more countries and regions.
Microsoft launched its intelligent personal assistant “XiaoIce” on Tencent’s WeChat Thursday with plans for business use to compete with rivals like Apple’s Siri and Google Now. XiaoIce, a virtual personal assistant that Microsoft says was developed by its Beijing research team is accessible on Tencent’s instant messenger WeChat as Microsoft expands its offerings on mobile internet platforms.
THE music streaming world just got a whole lot more competitive, especially in Malaysia, with a new player joining the ranks of Spotify, Deezer and Raku in an already crowded marketplace. On June 26, Tencent Holdings Ltd introduced Joox, its online music streaming service. Tencent is also the owner and operator of the hugely popular WeChat instant messaging software.
TENCENT Holdings Ltd has introduced the Voiceprint feature for its WeChat app, allowing users to log into their accounts through voice recognition, and rolled out more features under its 6.2 update. The speech-activated feature provides users with a new, quick and secure way to access their accounts, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement. Users can verbally read out a set of unique numbers, with an option of not going through the process of remembering a lengthy password.
The development of e-commerce on Tencent’s WeChat platform has led to questions about the fate of the social media app used by 500 million people, according to Guangzhou’s Time Weekly. Tencent began allowing commercial activities through WeChat’s “Moments” feature, which offers updates of a user’s online friends, beginning last year. The decision has led to thriving business activities that are plagued by counterfeits, fake products and fraud schemes, with one industry insider calling the development similar to that of Taobao, China’s most popular shopping site owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The startup that runs Chinese messaging app WeChat’s movie ticket sales service has announced the completion of a US$105 million series B round of funding, according to QQ Tech. Investors include WeChat maker Tencent, real estate giant Wanda Group, Chinese film investment fund Wenzi Huasha, Shandong Luxin Investment Holdings Group, Shanghai Gangtai Group, and ECapital.
China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities. Clicking on a new “City Services” tab inside Alipay Wallet draws up a menu with options to book hospital appointments, pay for parking tickets, settle gas and water bills, and even buy gasoline. Users can also look up information regarding traffic and public transportation, and manage other minor bureaucratic tasks.
WeChat, China’s most popular chat app, announced today it has begun testing out banner ads and promoted app installs on its “article view” pages. WeChat tends to attract the foreign tech industry’s attention for its growing number of services, like taxi booking and mobile payments. But it’s also a popular destination for news reading. Publishers will often push out content daily through their official accounts, using WeChat’s own publishing platform or a third-party one.
Messaging app WeChat now has 500 million monthly active users (MAUs), parent company Tencent revealed today. The new figure for Q4 2014 is up from 468 million in Q3 last year, and up from 355 million at the end of 2013. WeChat’s growth in active user numbers slowed down dramatically in the first three quarters of 2014, but it stabilized at 6.8 percent growth from Q3 to Q4 – the same rate as from Q2 to Q3.
WeChat, the most popular messaging app and social network in China with 468 million monthly active users, yesterday set in stone 10 rules for users posting to the app’s news feed, called Moments in English (h/t to 36kr for spotting). An article from the WeChat Security Center says the service will “resolutely crack down on all kinds of illegal content and behavior.
Over the past week, China has been going gaga over pollution. No, the skies aren’t any grayer than usual; the reason is Under the Dome, a documentary about pollution from popular CCTV journalist Chai Jing that hit the web and went viral. The film burned its way through WeChat and Weibo, racking up tens of millions of views in just 24 hours. Now, around a week later, it has already been watched more than 100 million times.
Bitcoin enthusiasts in China exchanged a total of RMB 10 million (US$1.6 million) in Chinese New Year gifts using the cryptocurrency, according to Beijing-based exchange OKCoin. This mostly happened through WeChat, the popular messaging app, as half a million people used OKCoin’s mobile wallet and WeChat account – called OKLink – to gift bitcoin to their buddies during the course of the week-long holiday.
Last night was Chinese New Year’s Eve. Amidst all the other festivities, China’s WeChat users sent each other an astonishing 1.01 billion red envelopes (pictured above), the social media company revealed this afternoon. The virtual red envelopes stuffed with actual cash, which mirror a long-held gift-giving tradition at Chinese New Year, are a growing trend in China as people make more use of online payment methods.