6 must-read tech stories in China this week


China tech news this week

China was quiet this week as people took most of the week off for lunar new year celebrations. Thankfully there were plenty of big numbers related to Chinese New Year to keep us occupied.

1. On the eve of Chinese New Year, WeChat processed 10 million messages in one minute

WeChat users in China flooded the service with festive greetings. That figure dwarfs the one released by Sina Weibo last weekend, which revealed that Weibo saw 863,000 tweets within a single minute on the same day.

2. China’s WeChat users sent out 20 million cash-filled red envelopes to friends and family within 2 days

Chinese people often give out red envelopes stuffed with cash to family members for Chinese New Year, and this year WeChat reinvented it within its messaging app.

3. Chinese New Year welcomed in with 13.6 billion messages in 1 day on China’s top social network

Tencent not only makes WeChat but also QQ, the instant messenger and social network. That app was also seeing very heavy use during the celebrations.

4. Report: led by China, Asian countries are the world’s biggest online spenders

Consumers in Asia-Pacific will spend more money online than North America for the first time ever this year, according to a new report from eMarketer.

5. An unlikely team makes budget air purifiers for China’s pollution-choked residents

smart air purifier GIF

Despite having no business background, setting an arbitrary price point, and starting off with no name recognition whatsoever, Beijing-based startup Smart Air has sold over 2,500 cheap and frankly ugly do-it-yourself air purifier kits.

6. Apple silences FaceTime Audio for iPhone and iPad buyers in China

Anyone who has bought a made-for-China iPhone 5s, 5c, or newest-gen iPad will find that they only get the option to make FaceTime video calls, with the FaceTime Audio ability nowhere to be seen.

That’s all for this week, folks! For our full spread of China coverage, you might like to subscribe to our China RSS feed.

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