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Google takes steps back into Chinese market with Wechat AI game

The company is getting people drawing on the country's most popular messaging service.

A man walks past the Google company logo
China has released an AI game on China's biggest messaging service.
Liu Jin / AFP/Getty Images

Google launched an AI game for Tencent's WeChat app on Wednesday, pushing its way further into the Chinese market.

The game, whose name translates roughly to "Guessing Little Songs," has players team up with an AI partner guess what their human rivals (and their accompanying AIs) are drawing, according to Google's Chinese blog. You can add the game to WeChat by scanning the QR code seen in the blog.

Tencent -- China's biggest tech company -- and Google agreed to share patents across a range of products and technologies in January. WeChat is China's most popular messaging service and the country is the world's biggest phone market.


The game allows players to sketch with an AI partner.

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Google opened an AI lab in Beijing last December. It's been making a push back into the Chinese market after withdrawing its search engine and related services there in 2010 when it decided it would no longer follow the government's censorship requirements. In June, it targeted Southeast Asian shoppers by investing $550 million in leading Chinese e-commerce company

Google also launched a China-specific version of its storage management platform, Files Go, in May -- the company's second app in the country after Google Translate.