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Life in the People’s Republic of WeChat

My full (and mostly successful) immersion in China’s everything app.
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Why Facebook Is Jealous of Chinese Messaging App WeChat

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I’ve had WeChat on my phone since a vacation to Beijing last year, when friends there essentially ordered me to download it. More than 760 million people use it regularly worldwide; it’s basically how people in China communicate now. It’s actually a lot of trouble not to use WeChat when you’re there, and socially weird, like refusing to wear shoes.

In China, 90 percent of internet users connect online through a mobile device, and those people on average spend more than a third of their internet time in WeChat. It’s fundamentally a messaging app, but it also serves many of the functions of PayPal, Yelp, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Expedia, Slack, Spotify, Tinder, and more. People use WeChat to pay rent, locate parking, invest, make a doctor’s appointment, find a one-night stand, donate to charity. The police in Shenzhen pay rewards through WeChat to people who rat out traffic violators—through WeChat.