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Tencent Opens WeChat to Rivals’ Links as App Walls Crumble

  • WeChat users can now link to and access Taobao, Douyin content
  • Move’s in response to Beijing’s call to free closed ecosystems
Trump Widens China Tech Attack, Banning Tencent's WeChat, TikTok
Photographer: Ivan Abreu/Bloomberg
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Tencent Holdings Ltd. allowed users of its main WeChat social media service to link to rivals’ content for the first time in years, taking initial steps to comply with Beijing’s call to dismantle walls around platforms run by the country’s online giants. 

From Friday, users who upgrade to the latest version of the messaging service can access external services such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao online mall or ByteDance Ltd.’s video app Douyin, both of which were previously walled off from WeChat’s billion-plus members. That applies however only to one-on-one messaging, not group chats nor Facebook-like Moments pages.