WeChat, known as weixin in Chinese, is a popular messaging and social media app developed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat is often likened to WhatsApp, developed by a U.S. firm, and Japan's Line.
But WeChat is more than a messenger app and packs a host of other features, including a hold-to-talk function that allows users to send audio messages to other WeChat users, much like a walky-talky. It's also a social media platform to post photos and make comments, much like Facebook.
Founded in 1998 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province and Hong Kong, Tencent has become China's undisputed king of messaging, with its banner instant messaging service called QQ, China's largest instant messaging service with over 800 million users. With a shift in Internet usage from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, Tencent launched WeChat in 2011.