One App, Two Systems:How WeChat Uses One Censorship Policy in China and Another Internationally

Ruan, Lotus; Knockel, Jeffrey; Ng, Jason Q.; Crete-Nishihata, Masashi

WeChat, (Weixin 微信 in Chinese), is the dominant chat application in China and fourth largest in the world, with 806 million monthly active users.

WeChat encompasses more than just text, voice, and video chat; it includes a rich set of features such as gaming, mobile payments, and ride hailing, which make it more of a lifestyle platform than a mere chat app. It is estimated that Chinese users spend a third of their mobile online time on WeChat and typically return to the app ten times a day or more. WeChat is owned and operated by Tencent, one of China’s largest technology companies.