Can you change your location on WeChat? Can you fake your GPS to look like you’re somewhere other than where you are? Can you pretend you’re on the moon and not in your room? These are just a few of the questions we’ve received over the past few weeks, thanks to TechJunkie’s coverage of GPS spoofing and fake locations in other apps.
As one of the most popular chat apps in the world, it’s only natural that some WeChat users want to know if they can use the same techniques we use in other apps out there.
I have bad news for you. You cannot spoof your location in WeChat, and you can only change your location. WeChat works differently from other apps, so the usual tricks won’t work. I found some kind of workaround from a Chinese forum that sometimes works.
WeChat will force you to add a location and then verify it to make sure you’re telling the truth. Part of the app is location based so it takes this aspect seriously so there is no simple workaround.
location on WeChat
WeChat will force you to add a location and then verify it to make sure you’re telling the truth. Part of the app is location-based, so it takes this aspect seriously. If you want to use WeChat without telling you where you live, I’ll show you these possible workarounds and then explain why the usual tricks don’t work.
The first thing to try is to manually add your location in Settings.
- Open WeChat and select the My Profile icon.
- Select Other, Region and add a different location.
This may work for a short time, but probably not for long, as WeChat tries to verify your location at some point.
There was another fix on a Chinese forum that used an old version of the app to make the change.
- Uninstall your current version of WeChat.
- Download and install an older version from an internet archive. Version 4.2 or earlier.
- Set your fake or new location.
- Update the app to the latest version.
- The new install gets the location from the old app and works with it.
I don’t know if this will work as I can’t find an older version of the app. If you have more patience and good patience than me, tell us how it was in the comments section. I would like to know.
How does WeChat know where you live?
I don’t think the Chinese have a despicable reason to want to know where you live or to avoid the usual ways we use to mislead where you are. Just by asking for absolutely accurate data and acceptance by the population that this is normal, I think that’s how their minds work. This has unfortunately been translated to the west in our version of WeChat as well.
Usually when a phone app wants to know where you are, it queries the phone operating system via an API for GPS location or IP address. The GPS location will tell the API where you are. IP addresses are allocated regionally and the phone will know an approximate location from the network’s IP database. The API then tells the application this location.
When you spoof your location using a fake GPS app, the app replaces that API. When an app queries the location instead of talking directly to the operating system, it talks to the fake GPS app instead. This app will then provide any location you manually set to the query app.
WeChat is different. It does not use a software query to query the API. It seems to be using something called ‘BaiduLocationSDK’ which uses hardware abstraction layer queries instead of API queries. This means that fake location apps or any other spoofing apps won’t work as BaiduLocationSDK works completely independently and talks directly to GPS instead of API.
If you’re interested in learning more about how WeChat works with regards to GPS spoofing, check out this page on Stack Overflow where some very smart people discuss it in much greater detail.
I have to admit that I am not comfortable having my location tracked by an app and can’t do anything about it. However, there are many other apps that do exactly the same thing, so every time I use my phone I will keep my GPS turned off and only use it when I need it.
Do you know effective ways to spoof your location on WeChat? If you do, tell us below!