Always asking for WiFi passwords when you’re out and about? WiFi Master Key (our translation) is an application that automatically connects your devices to WiFi networks when in range. The company claims it has collected about 700 million WiFi hotspots across China. The hotspots are not voluntarily shared by WiFi network owners, but WiFi Master Key allows them to opt out. The service is for free.

There are several similar services in China. Many are developed by big internet companies, such as Qihoo 360, Tencent, Wandoujia, Xiaomi, and Xunlei. It is believed such an app will be the first everyone uses when arriving somewhere, so all of these companies plan to add location-based services on top of it.

WiFi Master Key claims it’s the largest such app in China, with 500 million registered accounts and 250 million monthly active users. It has been reported that the company has begun generating revenues from advertising. It’s not profitable as yet, however, as it has to pay Chinese telecom operators or WiFi service providers in order to offer as much choice as possible for free to users. The app is available on Android, Windows and Mac. The iOS version will be launched by year end.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com