Jan 09, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Tencent Holdings is looking to expand the reach of its WeChat app past the boundaries of smartphones by introducing a new voice assistant that can be used by businesses and in smart cars, as the company looks towards industrial internet as its new growth avenue.
With more than 1 billion active users, WeChat has very nearly reached its market saturation point and now has to look for new utilization scenarios in order to continue its growth trajectory.
The new virtual assistant system called WeChat italking or Xiaowei in Chinese, can be used in situations such as smart speakers and cars which will help the technology giant to better serve more businesses and industries.
The move by Tencent helps it on two fronts. Firstly, it helps the company to diversify its business away from gaming and content which has seen increasing government crackdowns and scrutiny in recent times.
At the same time, it also falls in line with the Chinese government’s aims to promote the internet of things (IoT) segment in China as the country looks to transform towards more high-tech manufacturing and industries.
The company will continue to build up its WeChat ecosystem with more mini-programs, which refer to applications that run on WeChat’s interface without having to be downloaded externally from an app store.
These mini-programs help developers to generate revenue as well as provide increased convenience for users. WeChat’s mini-programs now span over more than 200 industries and have completed more than 100 billion transactions.
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