Tencent Holdings on Monday unveiled a version of its social media app WeChat designed for drivers of vehicles.
The most popular messenger, which counts more than 1.1 billion users, will be embedded in new car models coming to the market later this year, the two companies said at the annual Smart China Expo in Chongqing.
Tencent's entry into the infotainment market will not be a feature-rich version of the WeChat app, which already offers services such as payment and entertainment. Insyead, the car version will have limited functions based on voice control and a button on the wheel, allowing the driver to send or receive messages and make calls while driving, and integrate Tencent Map’s navigation service, Tencent said.
Tencent is trying to transform itself from a consumer-oriented social and gaming firm to an enterprise service provider. The company said it had secured partnership agreements with 21 automakers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi to roll out solutions for connected cars on 45 models.