Posts Tagged ‘wechat’

Epic TikTok Fortnite

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to prohibit US companies from doing business with Tencent, which owns WeChat and nearly 50% of Epic Games, which makes Fortnite and Unreal Engine. Tik Tok has until September 20th to sell to Microsoft or another American company or it, too, will be banned. Is this because some Kpop fans on Tik Tok spoofed a Trump rally in Tulsa?


In the Age of AI

In The Age Of A.I. (2019) — This just aired last night and it’s absolutely fantastic. It presents a great look at AI, and it also talks about automation, wealth inequality, data-mining and surveillance. from Documentaries

13 min 40 sec = Wechat

14 min 60 sec = data is the new oil and China is the new Saudi Arabia

18 min 30 sec = social credit and facial recognition

more on deep learning in this IMS blog

WeChat surveillance

Chinese cyberspace is one of the most surveilled and censored in the world. That includes WeChat. Owned by Tencent, one of China’s biggest companies, the chat-meets-payment app has more than 1 billion monthly users in China and now serves users outside the country, too, although it does not divulge how many. Researchers say its use abroad has extended the global reach of China’s surveillance and censorship methods.

“The intention of keeping people safe by building these systems goes out the window the moment you don’t secure them at all,” says Victor Gevers, co-founder of the nonprofit GDI Foundation, an open-source data security collective.

Every day, Gevers scans the Internet for vulnerabilities to find unsecured databases, and he has exposed a large number of them, particularly linked to China.

more on WeChat and surveillance in this IMS blog

WeChat and blog combining social media

Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students

Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.

WeChat, like WhatsApp in Europe, Vkontakte in Russia, Weibo in China, or before its 2014 Orkut in Brazil ( seeks to create its own users’ momentum, and no differently from Facebook, expand that membership momentum from the host country to a global dominance (;  more citation comes here).

Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.

Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.


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Agur, C., Belair-Gagnon, V., & Frish, N. (2018). Mobile sourcing: A case study of journalistic norms and usage of chat apps. Mobile Meida and Communication, 6(1), 53–70. 10.1177/2050157917725549
Borgerson, J. L. (2016). Scalable Sociality and 'How the World Changed Social Media': conversation with Daniel Miller. Consumption, Markets & Culture.
Chen, Y. (2017). WeChat use among Chinese college students: Exploring gratifications and political engagement in China. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 10(1), 25–43.
de Seta, G. (n.d.-a). Old people’s emoticons and generational distinction: Chinese families on social media. Retrieved from
de Seta, G. (n.d.-b). The infrastracturalization of Chinese digital platforms: A case study of WeChat. Retrieved from
Deng, S. (n.d.). A history and analysis of CALA's social media. Retrieved from
Gu, B., & Wang, X. B. (2015). The Communication Design of WeChat: Ideological as Well as Technical Aspects of Social Media. Communication Design Quarterly, 4(1). Retrieved from
Guo, L. (2017). WeChat as a Semipublic Alternative Sphere: Exploring the Use of WeChat Among Chinese Older Adults. International Journal of Communication, 21(11). Retrieved from
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Mao, C. (2014). Friends and Relaxation: Key Factors of Undergraduate Students’ WeChat Using. Creative Education, 05(08), 636–640.
Marian, R. (1916). Wechat comparison with its western competitors. University of Edinburgh Business School. Retrieved from
Masi, V. D. (n.d.). The world of the Chinese apps and their influence on the new generation. Retrieved from
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Pang, H. (2016). Understanding key factors affecting young people’s WeChat usage: an empirical study from uses and gratifications perspective. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12(3), 262.
Pang, H. (2018). Understanding the effects of WeChat on perceived social capital and psychological well-being among Chinese international college students in Germany. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 70(3), 288–304. 10.1108/AJIM-01-2018-0003
Proksell, M., & Seta, G. de. (n.d.). A cabinet of moments: Collecting and displaying visual content from WeChat. Membrana. Retrieved from
Ranjan, R. (2017, July 26). In China, social media is shaping the public discourse on Doklam stand-off A peek into the discussions on Weibo and WeChat. China Online. Retrieved from
Ruan, L. Y., Knockel, J., Ng, J., & Crete-Nishihata, M. (n.d.). One App, Two Systems: How WeChat uses one censorship policy in China and another internationally. Retrieved from
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Sun, S. (2017). Enhancing International Students' Engagement via Social Media – A Case Study of WeChat and Chinese Students at a UK University. In INTED Proceedings. Valencia, Spain. Retrieved from
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Wang, Y., Fang, W.-C., Han, J., & Chen, N.-S. (2016). Exploring the affordances of WeChat for facilitating teaching, social and cognitive presence in semi-synchronous language exchange. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology.
Wei, H., & Ke, L. (2014). “New Weapons” of Ideological and Political Education in Universities—WeChat. SHS Web of Conferences, 6, 04001.