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The development path of WeChat: Social, political and ethical challenges

The development path of WeChat: Social, political and ethical challenges

Chen, Pi-Chi (2018) The development path of WeChat: Social, political and ethical challenges. In: Kim, Young-Chan and Chen, Pi-Chi, (eds.) The Digitization of Business in China: Exploring the Transformation from Manufacturing to a Digital Service Hub. Palgrave Macmillan Asian Business Series (PAMABS) . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 127-152. ISBN 978-3319790480 (doi:

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China boasts the world’s largest social media market, which is vastly differentfrom her Western counterparts. WeChat by Tencent, QQ and Weibo are at the forefront of the growing market—aiming to benefit from the surge in social media membership. Much of the focus, however, has been on examining and expanding their technological portfolio which further gives rise to a number of concerns. As WeChat continues to grow, politicians and dissidents alike are voicing their fears that security officials are able to track users’ everyday movements via the voice-messaging service that WeChat offers. As such, both users and the authorities alike deem WeChat as a brewing threat due to the possibility of surveillance—which perhaps explains why the frequency of WeChat-related crimes has greatly increased. This research therefore focuses on the ramifications of WeChat’s growth on institutional policy and social development, alongside the ethical challenges that may arise. The trajectory of WeChat’s development will consequently be analysed—considering its early growth and the impact that governmental policies have had in shaping China’s social media evolution. Ultimately, the study endeavours to implicate the complexity of social media in China compared to the West—offering an alternative model to account for the changing power dynamics behind China’s digital business environment.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Chapter 5.
Uncontrolled Keywords: WeChat, Social media market, Tencent, Social development
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 13:43

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