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Chinese commuters using WeChat on the Beijing subway. Photo by Hao Xia.
First Person
Facebook Asia

China’s WeChat Way of Life

By
Zara Zhang
 |  July 20, 2016 7:01 AM PDT
Photo: Chinese commuters using WeChat on the Beijing subway. Photo by Hao Xia.

When I was in China last month, I went out to eat with several friends. When it came time to pay the bill, I started calculating who owed what. Laughing at me, my Chinese friends whipped out WeChat Wallet, which has a button called “Go Dutch.” Once you put in the amount of the bill and the number of people involved, WeChat generates a link that you can send to your friends charging the correct amount. Compared to this, even Venmo feels like last century.

My non-Chinese friends find it mind-boggling that when I’m in China, I use my phone almost entirely on WeChat. Those struggling to understand WeChat’s role in China ask me: Is WeChat the Facebook of China? iMessage of China? Or Slack of China?

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