WeChat (Chinese: 微信; pinyin: Wēixìn (listen); lit. 'micro-message') is a Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. First released in 2011, it became the world's largest standalone mobile app in 2018, with over 1 billion monthly active users. WeChat has been described as China's "app for everything" and a super-app because of its wide range of functions. WeChat provides text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, video conferencing, video games, sharing of photographs and videos and location sharing.
User activity on WeChat is analyzed, tracked and shared with Chinese authorities upon request as part of the mass surveillance network in China. WeChat censors politically sensitive topics in China. Data transmitted by accounts registered outside China is surveilled, analyzed and used to build up censorship algorithms in China.In response to a border dispute between India and China, WeChat was banned in India in June 2020 along with several other Chinese apps. U.S. President Donald Trump sought to ban U.S. "transactions" with WeChat through an executive order but was blocked by a preliminary injunction issued in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in September 2020.
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