Viewpoint: As Facebook looks to WeChat, China’s digital world is wowing the West, and globalisation is no longer a one-way street
By Ashley Galina Dudarenok
Mark Zuckerberg’s recent article about Facebook’s future has attracted wide attention. It’s believed that his plan for Facebook as a “privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform” is inspired by WeChat and that the goal is for Facebook to become a similar super app. The fact that he also commented on a re-posting of an 2015 article, suggesting that he should have learned from WeChat earlier, has furthered this theory.
This is not only a new direction for an internet giant that influences social media and the wider culture, it’s the first time that a Silicon Valley tech tycoon is indicating that a Chinese digital ecosystem is worth learning from and emulating.
But it’s not the first time Facebook is emulating WeChat. In 2016, Facebook launched “Instant Games” within Messenger. Games had been on WeChat for some time before that and Tencent, WeChat’s parent, is one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, despite recent setbacks.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.