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China's WeChat fans can chat on the go in Europe
[THE HAGUE] Chinese tourists can now use the popular WeChat messaging app while soaking up the sights in Europe this summer thanks to Dutch telecoms provider KPN.
KPN said Thursday it has teamed up with Chinese technology giant Tencent as well as internet video operator Sunway Culture Media "to launch the WeChat Go SIM card for Chinese tourists travelling to Europe".
WeChat, known as Weixin in China, was launched in 2011 and is the world's most popular messaging service.
Tencent said in May that the app had reached 938 million monthly active users for the quarter, a year-on-year growth of 23 per cent.
"Besides voice and 4G data services, the WeChat Go SIM card proposition also offers additional features such as travel information, Chinese video content, top ups and social media" in any EU country, KPN said.
The SIM card has been available since the start of the month, and is on sale at Chinese airports as well as other popular travel hubs across Europe.
The recommended sale price in Europe is either 12 euros for a 1GB card that is valid for 15 days, or 33.50 euros for a 4GB card valid 28 days.
"This is for the convenience of the Chinese customers, who can buy it and then put it in their cellphones and use WeChat Go without having to worry about which operator they have to connect to," KPN spokesman Stefan Simons told AFP.
While the system would have worked before, the end to roaming charges across the European Union in June may make the SIM card even more attractive to the millions of Chinese tourists who flock to Europe every year.