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Should-Read: Ben Thompson: Apple-WeChat Follow-up

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Should-Read: Ben Thompson: Apple-WeChat Follow-up: “I did make one additional addition to the article… this… https://stratechery.com/2017/apple-wechat-follow-up-windows-10-s-and-the-education-market/ …There is nothing in any other country that is comparable: not LINE, not WhatsApp, not Facebook. All of those are about communication or wasting time: WeChat is that, but it is also for reading news, for hailing taxis, for paying for lunch (try and pay with cash for lunch, and you’ll look like a luddite), for accessing government resources, for business. For all intents and purposes WeChat is your phone, and to a far greater extent in China than anywhere else, your phone is everything. I really can’t emphasize this point enough: Facebook et al may capture a huge amount of time spent on

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Should-Read: Ben Thompson: Apple-WeChat Follow-up: “I did make one additional addition to the article… this… https://stratechery.com/2017/apple-wechat-follow-up-windows-10-s-and-the-education-market/

…There is nothing in any other country that is comparable: not LINE, not WhatsApp, not Facebook. All of those are about communication or wasting time: WeChat is that, but it is also for reading news, for hailing taxis, for paying for lunch (try and pay with cash for lunch, and you’ll look like a luddite), for accessing government resources, for business. For all intents and purposes WeChat is your phone, and to a far greater extent in China than anywhere else, your phone is everything.

I really can’t emphasize this point enough: Facebook et al may capture a huge amount of time spent on mobile, but its dominance pales relative to WeChat not only because Facebook ultimately shares attention with other apps on the phone, but also because the phone is less vital to daily life in the markets Facebook dominates. This is something that is very difficult for many people in the West to grok: particularly in countries where the PC gained significant traction, smartphones are often seen as filling in the in-between spaces; in China, though, it’s everything. At the same time, relative to other countries that skipped over the PC in favor of the smartphone, the degree to which the smartphone (and by that I mean WeChat) is integrated with all aspects of daily life is far greater in China than anywhere else…

Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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