WeChat, the popular messaging app of Tencent Holdings Ltd, will now allow users to directly access external links in one-on-one chats, the latest answer to Beijing's call to end monopoly and enhance connectivity among internet companies.
In a social media post published on Monday, WeChat said it's also testing e-commerce links from external sites to be accessible in group chats. This function will go into effect successively, the company said.
In a major revamp announced in September, WeChat had already enabled users to open external links in one-on-one chats, but users needed to go through a redirecting page prior to their destination portals. This current upgrade scraps that step.
WeChat also said it will actively cooperate with other internet platforms to jointly implement the guidelines by the Ministry of Information Technology on external links management, and will explore technical possibilities for using WeChat services on other platforms.
WeChat had some 1.26 billion users globally by September 30. The move is widely seen as one further step to tearing down barriers previously commonplace among internet giants as they compete for exclusive user attention and time spent on their sites.