What is Application X? Elon Musk says Twitter takeover acts as accelerator for planned WeChat rival

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Successfully sued by the social media platform to honor a contractual obligation to buy the business, the centibillionaire said the $44 billion acquisition would facilitate plans to create a rival for Chinese WeChat, the the world’s best-known one-stop-shop for a consumer’s everyday digital needs. .

“Buying Twitter is an accelerator to the creation of X, the app of everything,” Musk tweeted Tuesday night.

X Holdings is the name of his planned investment vehicle to buy the company and could form the legal backbone of a new corporate empire linking all of his various business interests.

What is WeChat?

Due to China’s draconian censorship laws, internet companies such as Google, Amazon and Twitter have either been banned from use or faced extensive restrictions.

To meet similar needs while operating within the political confines of the “Great Firewall of China”, domestic clones have sprung up, such as the search engine Baidu, the online retailer Alibaba and the platform of social media Sina Weibo, respectively.

By comparison, WeChat, which was launched in January 2011, is a true innovation: a unified platform capable of combining a range of features found through popular Western smartphone apps such as WhatsApp, [hotlink]instagram,[/hotlink] and Apple Pay.

Courtesy of secret billionaire founder “Pony” Ma Huateng and his internet giant Tencent, China’s most valuable company has around 900 million daily active users.

That means virtually everyone in the country uses it at least once between waking up and falling asleep, whether it’s to video call, post photos, share news articles , play video games or pay at the restaurant. . There is hardly any aspect of Chinese life where WeChat does not offer its services.

How WeChat took off in China

The app’s first innovative feature enabled complete strangers to connect with each other in China’s dense metropolitan areas.

Called WeChat Shake, all users had to do was shake their phone back and forth and the program would search for other nearby people doing the same who were looking to make a new friend.

WeChat’s success then began to take off after a clever marketing stunt in early 2014 allowed people to send virtual versions of the characteristic red envelopes of money traditionally given at Chinese New Year through the app. Eight million users created and shared 40 million red packets over the holidays, according to reports.

“The real goal behind this nationwide carnival was to get WeChat users to link their apps to their bank cards…and thus significantly strengthen Tencent’s ability to charge WeChat users in the future,” they said. discovered by American researchers.

Getting around in China’s increasingly digital economy entirely without WeChat is now considered nearly impossible.

Musk’s vision for the ‘X’ app

It’s no surprise that an entrepreneur like Musk would spot the business opportunity of an app that could keep users fully engaged in its own ecosystem.

Shortly before trying to end the Twitter buyout, Musk pitched a group of wealthy investors like Larry Ellison a five-fold increase in revenue to $26.4 billion by 2028.

Turning Twitter into a WeChat for the free world could help it grow daily users to 931 million in six years, roughly comparable to China’s super app, while building a payments business capable of reach $1.3 billion in annual revenue by that date. his addiction to advertising.

He previously spoke about the potential to turn Twitter into a WeChat clone for Twitter’s 215 million daily active users at an internal staff meeting in June days before canceling the deal.

Musk, however, never clarified what App X would do beyond wanting to emulate WeChat’s ability to get users to “essentially live on” the app.

Presumably, this would touch every facet of our digital lives, but would likely offer many of the same features, including…

  • Messaging
  • Video and audio calls
  • News sharing
  • Streamed content
  • Play video games
  • Post photos of daily life
  • Communicate with co-workers
  • Stock market and cryptocurrency integration
  • Ordering and paying for food in the restaurant
  • Reservation of entertainment tickets
  • Hail a taxi (or self-driving Tesla)

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