Released by Chinese web giant Tencent in 2011, WeChat is the largest standalone messaging app in the world by monthly users, with more than 500 million people, primarily in China, using the app on a regular basis. Originally confined to text messaging, WeChat has grown into an app platform, with gaming, payment, and social networking functions.

WeChat users unable to transfer money in amounts related to Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

Chinese paramilitary police march at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China on June 3, 2015, a day ahead of the 26th anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests.. Photo: EPA

Users of China's most-popular real-time messaging service WeChat are allegedly being blocked from transferring money in amounts related to the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Thursday, 4 June, 2015, 9:21pm 3 comments

China a gold mine for online payment platform system companies

Tencent's WeChat service (SCMP Picture)

China’s burgeoning number of Internet users and rapid increase in online shopping are creating new opportunities for online payment platforms.

12 May 2015 - 12:48pm

WeChat cinema ticket sales app WePiao secures US$105 million in funding

Movie ticketing app Wepiao covers more than 3,500 theatres in 500 cities across mainland China. Photo: AFP

A company that provides cinema ticket sales for WeChat, the most popular mobile messaging app in China, has closed a US$105 million series B funding round.

Investors in WePiao include WeChat parent Tencent and real estate firm Wanda Group, as well as a number of other companies.

29 Apr 2015 - 2:39pm

Whatsapp the top pick for Hong Kong’s remote workers who need to stay in touch

Whatsapp keeps Hong Kong workers on the job, wherever they are

Messaging app Whatsapp and file sharing tool Dropbox are the most popular remote working tools among Hong Kong workers, according to a global survey on remote working habits.

More than 90 per cent of 365 workers in the city surveyed by serviced office firm Regus reported using Whatsapp when working outside the office, while Dropbox was used by 72 per cent.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am

Greedy Shanghai taxi drivers show the 'evil' side of new technology

Shanghai's municipal government issued an order forbidding taxi drivers from accepting reservations through booking apps during rush hours.

Google once had an informal corporate motto - "Don't be evil" - a sentiment often shared by many other technology firms around the world. Technology itself can't be evil if we see it purely from a scientific perspective, but how we make use of it can be a very different story.

3 Mar 2014 - 12:07pm 9 comments

Is Whatsapp going to open doors for Facebook in China?

This Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York. Photo: AP

I haven't written about Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) in a while, mostly because the company hasn't made any concrete moves into China lately despite previous assertions that it would like to enter the market.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am 3 comments

Facebook buys WhatsApp for US$19 billion

'No one in the history of the world has ever done something like this,' Mark Zuckerberg said. Photo: Reuters

Facebook will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for US$19 billion in cash and stock in a landmark deal that places the world’s largest social network closer to the heart of mobile communications and may bring younger users into the fold.

21 Apr 2015 - 11:14am 6 comments

Asian messaging apps moving in on global tech giants' turf

WeChat has emerged as an alternative distribution channel for advertisements, software applications and goods and services. Photo: Reuters

Asian chat services KakaoTalk, Line and WeChat threaten to overturn the mobile order of things, usurping the role of Google, Apple, Amazon.com Facebook and telecommunications carriers as gatekeeper to the consumer.

20 Feb 2014 - 12:56am

Alibaba, Sina cast envious eyes on Tencent's 'Hongbao'

A screenshot of a message page on the Wechat app telling the user he or she has won a hongbao, or "red envelope" via the app.

Things have certainly changed over the last 3 years in Lunar New Year messaging, as reflected by the flood of tech executives using their microblogs to weigh in on Tencent's (HKEx: 700) launch of a

6 Feb 2014 - 2:01pm

Popular Chinese taxi-booking apps leave smartphone-free travellers out in the cold

Taxi drivers queue up at the taxi stand at the shopping area in Beijing. Photo: Robert Ng

While millions of internet-savvy Chinese mainlanders benefit from escalating competition between two rapidly-growing taxi mobile applications fighting for dominance in the market, those without smartphones have found hailing a taxi in the street more difficult than ever.

30 Jan 2014 - 3:46pm

Chinese internet giants transplant 'red envelopes' holiday tradition to mobile cyberspace

WeChat’s 600 million users around the world can now send and receive virtual “red envelopes”. Photo: Reuters

Could the Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes with cash inside as gifts go digital during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday? That is what the new feature on Tencent’s flagship messaging mobile application WeChat, a “red envelope" add-on which went viral this weekend, aims to do.

27 Jan 2014 - 6:21pm

Line, WeChat: Asian social networks move to conquer Europe

Billboard of WeChat at the Island side of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Photo: Thomas Yu

Move aside Facebook and Skype. Asian social networks, already hugely popular on their continent, have set their sights on Europe where they could prove stiff competition for their US rivals.

29 Sep 2013 - 1:33pm 1 comment

New WeChat 'Airplane War' game sending addicted players to hospital

Airplane War was first introduced in Chinese WeChat Version 5.0. Photo: Screenshot via news.7xz.com

Chinese WeChat users addicted to a new airplane game included in the mobile social network’s newest iteration are now finding themselves in hospital with severe cases of “gamer’s thumb.”

12 Sep 2013 - 5:52pm 1 comment

Tencent launches updated, monetised WeChat version with paid emoticons

WeChat has more than 400 million users. Photo: Bloomberg

The app boasts several new payment services, including an emoticon 'sticker store' where users can pay to download graphical images to attach to their messages.

6 Aug 2013 - 5:07am

Severed cables leave WeChat users in limbo

WeChat has more than 300 million registered domestic users and recently surpassed 70 million users internationally. Photo: Bloomberg

The mainland's leading smartphone messaging application, WeChat, owned by internet giant Tencent Holdings, went down for several hours yesterday morning after two optical cables were severed by a road construction team.

23 Jul 2013 - 6:48am