China’s biggest app, WeChat, partnered with InterContinental to open a smart hotel in Shanghai that lets users book rooms, remotely check in, and use their phones as key cards — all without requiring human assistance. Once they’ve completed their reservation, travelers verify their identity at the hotel through facial recognition and collect their digital key card. Although the hotel is 88 feet underground, it’s connected enough to provide quick internet services, according to a press release it shared with The Verge. WeChat and its parent company Tencent have been working on developing smart hotel experiences since 2014, but now it’s added facial recognition into the mix for faster identity checks. Traditionally, hotels in China require you to take a photo of your face and present government ID to be scanned and copied before you can enter your room. However, internet access offered by most hotels in China also remains restricted by the firewall enforced … [Read more...] about A WeChat-powered hotel in China lets you check in, enter your room, and get breakfast through your phone
WeChat, the popular messaging app operated by Chinese technology giant Tencent, has pledged to concentrate on cleaning up undesirable content from self-media on its platform to maintain a "healthy" reading environment as required by the government. Self-media refers to content from people that post articles or videos on Chinese social networks such as WeChat and Weibo and expect their articles to be read and forwarded by the readers to gain clicks and followers. Since November 12, WeChat has been boosting its content and qualification auditing to actively crack down on self-media on the platform that has damaged the content ecology and seriously affected the users' reading experience, WeChat said in a post on Monday. The content cleanup will specifically target harmful political information, pornographic and vulgar content, click-bait headlines, plagiarism, infringement, and other violations in order to provide users with a more healthy reading space, WeChat said. The … [Read more...] about Tencent’s WeChat steps up censorship to clear undesirable content
Presented by Humaniq In a crowded app marketplace, the most successful are service-hubs: from Google and Facebook, to WeChat in China, the most-downloaded apps offer a raft of offerings from different businesses. In mature markets, this means that the most popular consumer apps can retain market dominance by adding additional services for their existing communities. In emerging markets, consumer apps that can expand their service offerings as they grow their user base among new smartphone users have the opportunity to capture greater market share. And App Annie projects that app downloads worldwide will reach 250BN by 2022. Chinese downloads and spend are leading the way for other emerging markets, this study tells us, and consumer apps such as WeChat are seizing the opportunity as new users discover the apps most useful to them. This makes WeChat a platform where entrepreneurs can make impact, especially considering WeChat’s reporting that of the majority of small- and … [Read more...] about The Next WeChat? Humaniq app as a service-hub for Africa’s entrepreneurs
London-based Travelex today announced a new partnership with gift card startup Swych that will allow Chinese consumers on the WeChat platform to make purchases from retailers in the U.S. The new service is called “Travelex Pay,” and will exist within the WeChat app, which has 800 million users. Until now, the ability of WeChat users to connect directly with U.S. sellers has been limited. Travelex Pay will be powered by Swych, a mobile gifting platform that lets users send gift cards to others from a selection of 700 choices, including retailers in luxury brand names, dining and electronics. “Swych and Travelex Pay are making cross-border shopping more seamless for Chinese WeChat customers who visit the U.S. and use Travelex Pay. We are excited about this partnership and to provide Chinese consumers a cutting-edge, digital payments experience,” said James Hewitt, Travelex CEO for North America, in a statement. Travelex Pay, for the moment, is targeting the 3 … [Read more...] about Travelex Pay’s new gift card service lets WeChat users from China shop in the U.S.
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese chat app Bullet Messenger - touted as an upstart rival to Tencent Holdings Ltd’s hugely popular WeChat - says its app has been removed from Apple Inc’s App Store just months after its launch due to a copyright complaint. FILE PHOTO: Chinese instant messaging app Bullet Messenger is seen on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration Beijing Kuairu Technology, Bullet’s owner, said in a social media posting on Tuesday that it was forced to pull the app after complaints were raised about image content provided by a partner. It was briefly the most downloaded free app in the Chinese App Store, amassing 5 million registered users within 10 days of its August launch. The company did not elaborate on which part of the app the copyright complaints were referring to. “We are verifying the situation with the partner and will inform you as soon as possible when download … [Read more...] about WeChat rival ‘Bullet’ removed from App Store over copyright complaint