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A beta version was made available on mobile app stores on June 28 after four months of development.The app from Quartz, an online-only spinoff of American magazine The Atlantic, caused a stir when it was released in February of last year, offering users an innovative and interactive way to take in the news.Opening Xiawen for the first time, users are presented with a similar-looking chat screen.“Welcome to Xiawen’s news world,” reads the opening message from the bot, which then offers a short explanation of how the app works.Zhuang credits Quartz as the pioneer behind the wave of “news chat” apps.Last year Net Ease, a leading Chinese internet company, drew inspiration from the Quartz format to create an immersive chat news web application called “Echo of Radiation,” which allowed users to explore the story of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted a photo of the two leaders smiling and shaking hands.
He said Modi and Xi had a “conversation on a range of issues”.
The interaction, held against the backdrop of a tense standoff between Indian and Chinese forces in the Sikkim sector, came a day after China ruled out a formal bilateral meeting between the two leaders in Hamburg, with officials saying the “atmosphere is not right”.
Television reports said the discussion between Modi and Xi lasted about five minutes.
The Chinese president, who presided over the informal meeting, called on “the BRICS countries to push for peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes”, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.