Elon Musk Wants Twitter to Be WeChat-Style Super App With Payments


Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn’t rule out that should he proceed with his Twitter acquisition, the social media platform could become sort of a super app similar to the Chinese WeChat that would also support payments.

Speaking at a panel hosted by Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg for their “All-In” podcast, Musk agreed that WeChat is “actually a good model” to follow and is something that has to be available beyond China as well.

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“If you’re in China, you kind of live on WeChat, it does everything. It’s sort of like Twitter, plus PayPal, plus a whole bunch of other things. And all rolled into one […] great interface. It’s really an excellent app.” said Musk.

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According to the Tesla boss, “we don’t have anything like that outside of China,” and having such an app “would be really useful” as it would also give content creators a revenue stream, allowing them to post videos, while users will be able to leave spam-free comments.

Payments, whether it’s cryptocurrency or fiat, can make “a lot of sense” from that perspective, said Musk.

Such a super app doesn’t necessarily have to be built on Twitter, though, he stressed, as it could also be “something created from scratch.”

“It could be something new, but I think this thing needs to exist,” said the billionaire, adding that this should be a “maximally trusted and inclusive” platform where people can perform various digital tasks and important ideas are debated.

According to Musk, “we just want something that’s incredibly useful and that people love using. It does need to happen somehow.”

Musk’s Twitter purchase saga

The Tesla chief officially revealed his interest in purchasing Twitter in an SEC filing in April, stating that he wanted to take the company private. Musk’s other plans include making Twitter code open source, introducing an edit button for tweets, as well as combatting crypto scams and spambots.

Musk, also shared the idea of adding Dogecoin (DOGE), the meme cryptocurrency he’s promoted time and again, as means of payment for the users of Twitter’s premium subscription service.

On April 25, Twitter’s board accepted the billionaire’s $44 billion takeover bid to buy the social media company, with crypto exchange Binance and several other prominent investors pledging financial backing to the acquisition.

Last week, the deal, however, was put into jeopardy after Musk said he was putting things “temporarily on hold” until he could verify that, as a May 2 report from Reuters claimed, less than 5% of Twitter users were “spam/fake accounts.”

Musk reiterated his position on Tuesday, stating that the deal could “not move forward” until Twitter provides more information as to how many fake accounts exist on the platform.

He also suggested that in reality as much as 20% of the platform could be made up of fake or spam accounts, and did not rule out the possibility of renegotiating the deal that would require him to pay a lower price.

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