WeChat (微信) is a mobile phone chat software introduced by Tencent Inc., one of China's largest Internet service providers, on Jan. 21, 2011. It supports mobile phone users to get involved in group communication by sending and sharing audio, video and photo messages through the Internet. It is a comparatively new chat style similar to, but much colorful than, previous short messaging and multimedia messaging.
The Internet flow fee produced by WeChat is charged by network operators. Due to its completely free software and functions, WeChat has been warmly welcomed by mobile phone users and has become increasingly popular over the past two years.
Tencent President Liu Chiping said on Apr. 7, 2013, at the Boao Forum for Asia in China's Hainan Province that the company's WeChat software will remain free to use in response to complaints from netizens regarding the possibility of being charged for using the originally free chat application.
Zhu Hongren, chief engineer and spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a press conference on July 24, 2013 that the number of WeChat users in China had exceeded 400 million in the first half of the year, with the figure still growing quickly.