That “Whatsapp” of China, “WeChat” is developing its own Augmented Reality platform.
In addition to being a messaging, gaming and payments app, WeChat is creating its own platform called QAR.
This makes Tencent, the operators of WeChat, the latest contestant in the AR arms race joining Apple and Google. If you’ve been hanging around Edgy lately, you know they also recently got into investment banking.
With close to a billion monthly active users, WeChat equally wields the power to put AR in the hands of many people with QAR.
Like the Google Play Store, QAR will allow third-party developers to build AR apps for WeChat’s framework.
Google recently released a preview of its ARCore Kit, a set of tools developers can use to build AR apps for Android devices.
Apple struck first with the release of its version called ARKit, which really took off at the recent Apple event. As usual, Apple further provided the hardware for ARKit with their latest range of devices including the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.
We actually did a comparison of the two which you can read here.Tencent is setting itself up to take over AR in ChinaClick To Tweet
With the existence AR frameworks from these two tech giants, why would Tencent also invest in AR technology?
China is notorious for blocking apps from the western world and developing their own versions.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google and many more have suffered this fate. The latest victim is WhatsApp.
With this known history, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see China block a popular AR app developed by non-Chinese developers.
When that happens, it’ll be a huge advantage to any company leading AR tech in China.
Tencent appears to be preparing itself for when this happens.