China has leapfrogged past the West in many areas of tech — China’s mobile payments have surpassed the United States 100-fold and most Chinese consumers haven’t used cash or a credit card for years — and at the center of this new digital revolution is WeChat, the world’s first superapp. For people in China, WeChat is now the everything app — wallet, social media, messaging, food ordering, bill paying, game playing and much more. And companies across the world are only now racing to catch up by creating a similar, all-encompassing digital phenomenon. The First Superapp provides a glimpse of the future, and Kevin Shimota, a former top executive at WeChat, tells the inside story of how this phenomenon began in the context of China’s unique internet. He tells the story of WeChat’s creation and its climb to become the first superapp, providing insights on the psyche of WeChat’s founder, and of modern China tech to explain the fundamentals of these new innovations and how the framework they form could be reproduced beyond China.
The First Superapp
INSIDE CHINA’S WECHAT AND THE NEW DIGITAL REVOLUTION