WeChat to Provide Paid Cloud Storage Service for Chat Messages

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China Daily has reported that WeChat, a pervasive instant messaging platform operated by Tencent, plans to provide a paid cloud storage service for its chat messages, implying that WeChat conversation records can be backed up and restored in the cloud.

The business might follow a pay-per-year model, with Apple users at around 180 yuan ($27.9) per year and Android users at around 130 yuan per year. It is still unclear how much data can be stored for that fee. The source said the project is still under its final stages, during which time details remain to be confirmed.

WeChat messages can now only be copied to another device and backed up in computers. If the device is lost, the data without back-up cannot be restored.

Tencent‘s 2021 Q2 financial report shows that as of the end of June, WeChat boasts an 1.25 billion monthly active users worldwide. Experts in the industry suggest this new service will attract many users to pay for it. But how to guarantee users’ data privacy and service quality represents a key issue.

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Most communication tools rarely keep chat records free of charge in the cloud for a long time. For example, users of DingTalk, a communications software commonly used in work settings, can obtain chat records within the last 360 days by refreshing the chat page. However, the messages dating back over 360 days will be automatically deleted. Similar to WeChat, Soul, a new social media app, stores chatting records locally and does not support export and download data.