(Yicai Global) Sept. 26 -- Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] has changed the image on the loading screen for its vastly popular social media and lifestyle app WeChat for the first time in six years.
The Chinese internet giant replaced the NASA-supplied satellite image of the African continent with a new photo of China and Southeast Asia taken using the country's own new-generation Fengyun-4 (FY-4) meteorological satellite.
The FY-4, developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), delivered the new image to Tencent on Sept. 25. The tech firm will apply the image update by Sept. 28.
The image previously used was the first full image of the Earth taken by NASA 45 years ago. Wechat selected the image originally because the African continent is the origin of human civilization.
China's Fengyun series of satellites have been developed for over 40 years. CASC has successfully launched four FY-1 satellites, seven FY-2 satellites and three FY-3 satellites so far, including polar-orbit and geostationary-orbit meteorological satellites.
China's meteorological satellite sector is one of three key pillars in the industry worldwide alongside the US and Europe. The Chinese satellites mostly provide information for weather forecasting in the Eastern Hemisphere.