The path to WeChat: How Tencent’s culture shaped the most popular Chinese app, 1998–2011
This article contributes to the literature on WeChat, providing a historical perspective on the long-lasting culture of its mother company, Tencent. Through a corpus of primary and secondary sources, the article retraces four constitutive choices which characterized Tencent’s culture from 1998, when the company was founded, to 2011, when the first version of WeChat was launched. We argue that Tencent’s market strategy has always been based on four principles: mobility, media convergence, gaming/youth culture and Sinicization. The article concludes by highlighting that these constitutive choices paved the way to the creation of WeChat, thus contributing to its current success.
Global Media and Communication
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