Tencent’s WeChat makes content searchable on Google and Bing
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October 22, 2021
By Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh
BEIJING (Reuters) -Tencent’s WeChat has made its content searchable on some foreign search engines such as Alphabet-owned Google and Microsoft’s Bing, Reuters checks showed, in the latest tearing down of “walled gardens” in China’s internet sector.
Content from China’s most popular messaging app WeChat, including articles and videos on its popular public accounts page, a function similar to a news portal, has opened to external search engines, other than Tencent’s own Sogou search engine, in recent days.
Tencent, Google and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google is not available in China.
China’s internet sector has been long dominated by a handful of technology giants who have historically blocked each others rivals’ links as well as their search crawlers. The practice is often referred to as ‘walled gardens’.
In recent months, this practice has been targeted by Chinese authorities as part of a sweeping regulatory crackdown.
Last month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) ordered companies to stop blocking links, which they said has affected users’ experience and damaged consumer rights.
The MIIT has been studying plans and conducting research to make WeChat content available on external search engines, according to a person with direct knowledge.
MIIT and Tencent did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
WeChat content however, is not yet searchable on Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, according to Reuters checks. Baidu didn’t immidiately respond to a request for comment.
Citi analysts said in a Tuesday note that the potential “opening up of the social ecosystem to search engine” was a positive development for Baidu, as its “leading search gateway position has been weakened and diluted by the growth and dominance of super apps.”
(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)
Source Link Tencent’s WeChat makes content searchable on Google and Bing
Tajammul Pangarkar is a CMO at Prudour Pvt Ltd. Tajammul longstanding experience in the fields of mobile technology and industry research is often reflected in his insightful body of work. His interest lies in understanding tech trends, dissecting mobile applications, and raising general awareness of technical know-how. He frequently contributes to numerous industry-specific magazines and forums. When he’s not ruminating about various happenings in the tech world, he can usually be found indulging in his next favorite interest - table tennis.
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