Tencent enables voice-operated WeChat in vehicles
File photo/Zhang Jian (NBD)
China's most popular instant messaging tool WeChat will be embedded in some new cars to enable drivers to communicate with others on the platform via voice-control.
WeChat's developer Tencent and China Chang'an Automobile Group unveiled the move Monday on the sidelines of the annual Smart China Expo.
The tailor-made WeChat version will allow drivers to give voice commands or use a button on the steering wheel to check unread messages, send new messages and make voice calls.
Rolled out in 2011, WeChat has become one of the country's most popular social media platforms, with about 1.13 billion monthly active users by the end of June.
Tencent has stepped up cooperation with carmakers in recent years in its shift of focus to the industrial internet. It has inked partnership agreements with 21 automakers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi to roll out solutions for connected cars on 45 models.