WeChat makes content searchable on Google, Bing

WeChat has made its content searchable on a number of foreign search engines, such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing, according to Reuters checks.

WeChat’s content, including articles and videos on its popular public account page, a feature akin to a news portal, has been opened up to external search engines in recent days, with the exception of its own Sogou search engine.

The messaging app, which is owned by Tencent, also announced last month that it will start giving users access to external links, days after regulators told the company and its rivals to end a long-standing practice of blocking. from each other’s left.

China’s tech giants have historically prevented rival links and services from being shared on their platforms. However, regulators said they were directing companies to rectify this, as the practice compromised user experience and harmed consumer rights.

The move is part of a wider regulatory crackdown on the industry that has wiped billions of dollars from the market value of some of China’s largest companies.

Tencent Holdings’ popular WeChat messaging app will give users access to external links starting Friday, days after regulators told the company and its rivals to end a long-standing practice of blocking each other’s links.

China’s tech giants have historically prevented rival links and services from being shared on their platforms. However, on Monday, regulators said they were directing companies to rectify this, as the practice compromised user experience and harmed consumer rights.

The move is part of a wider regulatory crackdown on the industry that has wiped billions of dollars from the market value of some of China’s largest companies.

WeChat said it will implement the changes in phases, starting with allowing users to access links in private, one-on-one chats once they upgrade to the latest version of WeChat, though it would continue to follow principles such as avoiding excessive marketing.

The plan will be implemented based on legal requirements and with regulatory approval, it added.

“At the same time, WeChat will also actively collaborate with other internet platforms to implement these guidelines and explore the technical possibilities of using WeChat services on other platforms to achieve further interconnectivity.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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