The iconic WeChat launch screen was recently changed the 1st time ever in its 6 year history.
The symbolic alteration is planned to be live only for a few days before reverting back to the original screen but it’s hard not to miss the subtle subtext of the ‘middle kingdom’ now beginning to return to its rightful place as the center of the world. The old picture ‘the blue marble’ was taken by NASA, while the new one is taken by Chinese satellite Fengyun 4.
The WeChat team released an official statement saying the original picture was meant to represent the birthplace of humanity and thus the birthplace of communication while the new temporary one represents the origin of Chinese civilization.
Why did the WeChat team really choose Africa as the center of the original picture? Well the answer is rather simple (see previous article):
They simply took the first picture of the globe they got their hands on.
Many have speculated over the years that the silhouette of a boy in the picture is meant to represent WeChat founder Allen Zhang. China Channel was the first to make the connection between the old launch screen and Tencent’s South African investors Naspers (previous article here) who probably may prefer the old launch screen.