Elon Musk recently shared plans to evolve Twitter into an integrated “Everything App” like WeChat, China’s Super App. As someone who lived in China and used WeChat daily, I wanted to share my firsthand experience of how incredibly convenient and addictive WeChat can be.
Beyond messaging, WeChat offered payment services, taxi bookings, food delivery, utility bills payment, shopping, travel ticketing and more — it was a one-stop shop for daily life. I could chat with friends, order coffee, book train tickets, pay electricity bills, and access university group discussions easily within the app.
Making payments via WeChat Pay was a breeze — just scan any QR code to pay for meals, taxi rides, or purchases. The real beauty was how WeChat Pay is linked to your bank, so topping up your WeChat Pay balance was instant. Now, you can even link international Visa and Mastercard cards, making WeChat Pay accessible worldwide.
In China, I used WeChat way more than my phone’s default apps. People rarely ask for your phone number — the standard is “what’s your WeChat ID?” That shows how engrained WeChat is in everyday communication and coordination.
Fun fact: The Chinese name for WeChat is actually Weixin!
While censorship and privacy are valid concerns, I believe Elon Musk recognizes the immense potential in integrating lifestyle services and social media onto one frictionless platform. Just look at WeChat’s billion+ monthly active users!
Building a compelling digital payments functionality will be key for X to hook users. My time in China showed how seamless payments make services sticky. Regulatory differences pose challenges to copying WeChat outright, but taking inspiration from its ecosystem integration could make X indispensable.
I’m excited to see Elon Musk potentially transform X into a super app that provides immense utility and convenience to users worldwide. The capabilities are there, now it’s about strategic execution. Having lived in China, I’ve experienced firsthand how super apps like WeChat can simplify day-to-day life when done right.
What do you think about super apps and their future potential outside of China? Let me know your thoughts!