Two years ago, flirting with someone in China often meant exchanging QQ handles; now, you tell potential boos to add you on We Chat. Now, the app is available in English, Russian, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese.It’s Apple’s number-one social-networking app in several Southeast Asian countries, with a view toward expansion: An exec from its parent company, Tencent, said last October that it was growing in the Middle East and the US.On February 25, Tencent announced plans to open an office in the US to “study American users’ habits…and explore business opportunities.” I started using We Chat a few weeks ago to stay in touch with friends in China, and love it so much that, like the company itself, I’m now trying to get my American friends to download it as well.Due to potential copyright issues surrounding the name, as well as the fact that “open” ICQ wasn’t actually open, OICQ was later renamed QQ.Today, QQ’s homepage is the ninth-most visited website in the world, and the service has more than 700 million active users.You can read the transcripts of all our completed web chats - click on the links to replay.Here’s a free tip, Facebook execs: Pitch stories to every tech writer you know about the threat of dissidents being tracked through the Chinese-owned messaging app We Chat.Welcome to Web Chat, a way for you to talk to officers online and ask the questions you want answered!
Because We Chat is climbing in your window, snatching your people up. If you haven’t heard of We Chat, think of it as a better Whats App, crossed with the social features of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, mixed with Skype and a walkie-talkie—with a little dash of Grindr on top.
(Or bottom, depending on your personal proclivities.) It’s taken China by storm. Unsurprisingly, it’s attracting a lot of marketing interest: Companies like Starbucks and Nike have already run campaigns on We Chat.
We Chat was able to piggy back to some extent on QQ’s success.
It searches users’ phone and QQ contacts, which meant it was able to build a massive user base very quickly. After launching domestically as "Weixin" in early 2011, the company rebranded itself as We Chat for the international market in 2012.
If you ever used ICQ (“I seek you”) back in the day, you have some connection to We Chat’s origins.
We Chat’s parent company, Tencent, more or less copied ICQ and launched it in China in 1999 as OICQ (the “O” stands for “open”).