|Initial release||January 2011|
iOS 184.108.40.206 (August 5, 2013) [±]
|Operating system||iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10|
|Available in||English, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Malay, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Turkish|
|Type||Instant Messaging Client|
WeChat (Chinese: 微信; pinyin: Wēixìn; literally "micro message") is a mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent in China, first released in January 2011. The app is available on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian platforms. Languages supported include traditional/simplified Chinese, English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Malay, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi and Russian. WeChat is supported on Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, and 4G data networks.
WeChat provides multimedia communication with text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange. WeChat supports social networking via shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins ("Shake", "Look Around", and "Drift Bottle") to chat with and connect with local and international WeChat users.
Photos can be taken and embellished with artistic filters, captions, and placed into a personal photo journal for sharing with other users. User data is protected via an on-demand contact list backup and retrieval to/from the cloud. WeChat claims to provide a social networking platform that emphasizes user privacy and fast response performance.
Registration is completed through Facebook Connect, mobile phone SMS/VM, or Tencent QQ. The application was initially launched as Weixin in China in January 2011, with international language support in October 2011, and re-branded as WeChat in April 2012. It is being promoted in India via gaming site Ibibo, in which Tencent holds a stake.
In April 2012, Weixin re-branded as WeChat for the international market.
In September 2012, WeChat had more than 200 million users according to Tencent CEO, Ma Huateng. As of January 2013, it had 300 million. Today WeChat is the first mobile phone text and voice messaging communication application in the world by users and downloads in the world. It has influence in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South-East Asia, and among Chinese people around the world.
In April 2013, rumors online speculated that WeChat will charge a fee for the app. A poll showed that 90% of users strongly oppose this move. WeChat currently is free to download and use.
In May 2013, it was revealed that Rainie Yang would be a product endorser for WeChat. To promote the app in India, WeChat recruited Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra as brand ambassadors.
In July 2013, Tencent announced to test Games within WeChat.
According to GlobalWebIndex, WeChat set in fifth place of most used smartphone app worldwide and in August 2013 WeChat claimed set a 100 million registered international users which it is achieved only in 3 months from 50 million registered international users outside of 300 million registered China's users.
Starting January 9 of 2013 reports arose that Chinese language searches outside of China were being keyword filtered and then blocked. This occurred both to China from foreign countries and from foreign countries to other foreign countries. WeChat already censors its communications within China. In this new international example of blocking, a message was displayed on users' screens reading “The message “南方周末” you sent contains restricted words. Please check it again.” The Chinese characters stand for a Guangzhou-based paper called Southern Weekly (or, alternatively, Southern Weekend). The next day Tencent released a statement addressing the issue saying “A small number of WeChat international users were not able to send certain messages due to a technical glitch this Thursday. Immediate actions have been taken to rectify it. We apologize for any inconvenience it has caused to our users. We will continue to improve the product features and technological support to provide better user experience.” WeChat has plans to build two different platforms to avoid this problem in the future; one for Chinese mainlanders and one for the rest of the world. The problem exists because WeChat's servers are currently all located in China and thus subject to its censorship rules.  
The ownership of the WeChat brand is currently the subject of a dispute with Hong Kong based Admart.Asia founder, Wayan Chan, who has used the WeChat brand on both the www.Admart.Asia and WeChat.Asia websites.
- Tencent Inc. (January 5, 2012). "WeChat". App Store. Apple. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
1. App Store has been noted 17+, which means download only for seventeen years and older (for Apple ID holder).
2. iOS version available in iPhone only but user can run in iPad.
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- 逾9成网友反对微信收费 称“有大把可代替应用”
- Wechat Mother's Day Greeting by Rainie Yang
- "Chinese Messaging App WeChat Ropes In Parineeti Chopra And Varun Dhawan To Reach Out To The Youth".
- Wechat Oversea User Hit 70 Million, Hired Messi for Global Ad Promotion,China Internet Watch,August 20,2013
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- WeChat 5.0 for iPhone Release
- 微信 5.0 for iPhone 全新发布
- "More 100 million WeChat users outside China". August 16, 2013.
- Millward, Steven (10 January 2013). "Now China’s WeChat App is Censoring Its Users Globally". TECHINASIA.
- Millward, Steven (11 January 2013). "Tencent Responds in Case of Apparent WeChat Censorship". TECHINASIA.
- Muncaster, Phil (11 January 2013). "China censors chat users outside China". The Register.
- Official WeChat website
- Official English WeChat website
- Official Spanish Wechat