How to Download WeChat in India

WeChat is a popular Chinese messaging, social media, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent. It offers features like messaging, voice/video calls, moments (similar to Facebook timeline), mobile payments, and mini-programs. WeChat had a strong user base in India before it was banned by the Indian government in 2020 along with several other Chinese apps amid border tensions.

However, many people still need to use WeChat to communicate with business partners, suppliers, friends, and family in China. Here’s how you can download and use WeChat in India after the ban through a simple workaround.

Is WeChat Banned in India?

Yes, WeChat is officially banned in India under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The government ordered a ban on WeChat along with 58 other Chinese apps in June 2020 over concerns of threats to India’s sovereignty and security.

Indian internet service providers (ISPs) have geo-blocked WeChat in compliance with the government order. So if you try accessing WeChat directly on your Indian mobile data or WiFi network, you will face issues like:

  • Unable to create a new WeChat account
  • Unable to verify WeChat account
  • WeChat app fails to connect and gives network errors

This makes it impossible to use WeChat normally while in India.

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How to Bypass the WeChat Ban in India

To bypass the WeChat ban and geo-blocking, you need to use a VPN service. A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to access the internet through servers located in other countries.

So when you connect to a VPN server in Hong Kong, Europe, or the USA, you can access WeChat freely. The Indian ISPs will see your traffic coming from another country and will not be able to block WeChat.

Steps to Use WeChat with VPN in India

  1. Install a VPN appon your device. Some good options are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, etc.
  2. Connect to a VPN serverbased in a country where WeChat access is not restricted e.g. Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, USA.
  3. Download WeChatfrom the Play Store or App Store. You may need to clear the Play Store cache if facing issues.
  4. Sign upfor a new WeChat account or log in to your existing account.
  5. Chat away freely on WeChat!You can now use all features like Moments, Video calls, etc.

Make sure to keep the VPN connected whenever you want to access WeChat. This will ensure you do not face any disruptions due to the ban.

WeChat Alternatives in India

If you do not want to use a VPN, there are a few good alternatives to WeChat available in India:

  • WhatsApp– The most popular messaging app in India. Offers features similar to WeChat like messaging, voice/video calls, groups, status, etc.
  • Telegram– Secure and fast messaging app with cloud storage support. Has public groups with up to 200,000 members.
  • Signal– Uses end-to-end encryption for secure messaging. Recommended by privacy advocates globally.
  • Hike– Indian messaging app with some unique features like hidden chats.
  • Google Chat– Slick messaging app by Google with tight integration with their other workspace apps.

These apps do not have the exact same set of features but act as good substitutes for chatting and connecting with people.

Risks of Using WeChat in India

Although using a VPN allows you to bypass the WeChat ban, there are some risks involved:

  • WeChat adheres to strict Chinese internet regulations and government surveillance policies. Your data may be accessible by Chinese authorities.
  • VPN connections can be unreliable at times, leading to the disruption of WeChat services.
  • Using a banned app in India through unofficial means is legally ambiguous.

So use WeChat carefully, enable added privacy protections in the app, and avoid storing sensitive personal data. Prefer using WeChat alternatives in India whenever possible.

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Despite the ban, Indians can continue using WeChat through VPN workarounds. This allows uninterrupted communication with China-based contacts.

Using a reliable VPN and being cautious with data shared on WeChat reduces potential privacy and legal risks. For added safety, also consider switching to popular Indian messaging apps.

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