How did Tencent take WeChat so far ahead of its rivals? The answer lies partly in the peculiarities of the local market. Unlike most Westerners, many Chinese possessed multiplemobile devices, and they quickly took to an app that offered them an easy way to integrate them all into a single digital identity. In America messaging apps had a potent competitor in the form of basic mobile-phone plans, which bundled in SMS messaging. But text messages were costly in China, so consumers eagerly adopted the free messaging app.
And e-mail never took off on the mainland the way it has around the world, mainly because the internet came late; that left an opening for messaging apps.
But the bigger explanation for WeChat’s rise is Tencent’s ability to innovate. Many Chinese grew up using QQ, a PC-based messaging platform offered by Tencent that still has over 800m registered users. QQ was a copy of ICQ, a pioneering Israeli messaging service. But then the Chinese imitator learned to think for itself. Spotting the coming rise of the mobile internet, Tencent challenged several internal teams to design and develop a smartphone-only messaging app. The QQ insiders came up with something along the lines of their existing product for the PC, but another team of outsiders (from a just-acquired firm) came up with Weixin. When Tencent launched the new app, it made it easy for QQ’s users to transfer their contacts over to the new app.
Another stroke of brilliance came two years ago when the service launched a “red packet” campaign in which WeChat users were able to send digital money to friends and family to celebrate Chinese New Year rather than sending cash in a red envelope, as is customary. It was clever of the firm to turn dutiful gift-giving into an exciting game, notes Connie Chan of Andreessen Horowitz, a VC firm. It also encouraged users to bind together into groups to send money, often in randomized amounts (if you send 3,000 yuan to 30 friends, they may not get 100 yuan each; WeChat decides how much). That in turn led to explosive growth in group chats. This year, over 400m users (both as individuals and in groups) sent 32 billion packets of digital cash during the celebration.
31. Which of the following is mentioned in paragraph one?
A. On the mainland, mobile devices cost a lot.
B. Text messages are less expensive than messaging app in America.
C. Chinese people like messaging apps more than text messages.
D. American messaging apps are not free.
32. How did Tencent invent Weixin?
A. A team of PC insiders invented weixin for Tencent.
B. A team of outsiders acquired by Tencent invented Weixin.
C. Tencent asked the QQ insiders team to create a product.
D. Tencent copied a pioneering Israeli messaging service.
33. What is the outcome of the red packet campaign?
A. Users are increasing to form groups.
B. It caused people to send money in random amounts.
C. The gift-giving process became an exciting game.
D. It changed the way Chinese people send each other gifts.
34. The phrase “stoke of brilliance” means ______.
C. remarkable idea
D. None of the above
35. According to the passage, the success of Weixin mainly attributes to ______
A. QQ’s strong user base.
B. the lack of competitors.
C. local market opportunity and innovation.
D. All of the above.
Do you send and receive more phones calls or e-mail? If your answer is e-mail, or you wish it were, then a new breed of telecommunications devices called an e-mail phone or Internet phone may soon find its way into your kitchen or living room. Essentially, an e-mail phone, or e-phone for short, is the merger of telephone and computer. With most of these new screen phones, that means being able to read and reply to electronic mail directly from the phone, without starting up (or even owning) a PC. With some, it also means being able to search through the Web to make vacation plans or research homework assignments though at slow speeds and on a rather small screen. And you can still make phone calls, too.
No computer experience is required to use an e-phone. Most let you sign up with Internet service provider (ISP), which typically charges about $20 per month. Once you’repast this tedious work and enter the account information into the phone, you can check your e-mail from either your computer or phone.
To assess your e-mail account from one of these phones, you typically have to select e-mail service from a menu. Phones with touch screens have an icon (圖標) for that on the opening screen. For other phones, you press one of the buttons lining the bottom or sides of the display, much as with an ATM machine. The phone then calls your ISP. When the ISP picks up, the phone automatically transfers your account name and password. Once accepted, the ISP will start sending the phone your messages. By touching the item you want to read or hitting a button next to it, the message will be displayed. Once you’ve read it, you can reply to the message, move onto the next one, or, with most phones, delete the message from your account. You can check your e-mail manually, but most e-phones can also be set to check several times a day automatically. In automatic mode, the phone flashes to tell you mail is waiting. If you happen to be using the phone when it is scheduled to check for e-mail, the phone will automatically try again when the line is free.
One serious drawback to e-mail by phone is that it cannot receive (or send) attached files, whether they contain documents or graphics. Some phones will attempt to display simple text files as part of the message, but other types of files will appear as gibberish(亂碼), or not at all. If you share the e-mail account with a PC and don’t delete the message, however, you can usually retrieve the message and file on your computer.
36. An e-mail phone is an improved device of telecommunication in that ______.
A. it can record a message in the form of e-mails
B. it can be used to receive and send e-mails
C. it can be connected with computers
D. it can be used to visit websites
37. Compared with a traditional telephone, an e-mail phone probably ______.
A. has a colored screen
B. has a larger size
C. has similar key arrangement
D. does not have a receiver
38. When an e-mail phone is being used to make phone calls, it ______.
A. cannot receive new messages
B. send out a signal of new messages
C. cannot display e-mail messages
D. automatically checks new messages
39. One fundamental flaw of e-mail phones is that people cannot use it to ______.
A. receive or send e-mails with attached files
B. receive attached files with documents
C. read attached files with graphics
D. read only messages in the form of simple text
40. It can be inferred from the passage that e-mails phones are designed to ______.
A. make transmission of e-mail messages faster
B. make communication through e-mails cheaper
C. make communication through e-mails easier
D. make communication through e-mails more popular