DRONES FOR YOUR WECHAT

The World of Chinese - - ON THE CHARACTER -

Con­tin­u­ing its bid to oc­cupy ev­ery inch of Chi­nese in­ter­net life with its mes­sag­ing app, Wechat, Ten­cent re­leased a con­sumer quad­copter drone, called “Ying”, at the end of Oc­to­ber. Made in part­ner­ship with Qual­comm and Chi­nese drone man­u­fac­turer Zerotech, Ying al­lows its users to cap­ture videos at 4K res­o­lu­tion and can be syn­chro­nized to your phone to be broad­cast live to your social net­work through Wechat. It also works with Wechat's video call­ing func­tion. The drone in­dus­try in China is a lively one; Chi­nese com­pany DJI'S Mavic Pro, re­leased in Septem­ber, cur­rently has 70 per­cent of the mar­ket share in con­sumer drones world­wide. Ying, how­ever, is priced at 299 USD, one-third of the cost of a Mavic Pro, and weighs just 425 grams. Ac­cord­ing to the prod­uct's of­fi­cial web­site, Ying is meant to ex­pand the drone mar­ket be­yond “the do­main of pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers” and into the hands of “or­di­nary play­ers”—if they're in China, that is, as Ten­cent has made no an­nounce­ments about the item's avail­abil­ity for the rest of the world. – HATTY LIU

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