Being an expat in China is hard enough when you can’t speak Chinese, or don’t have any local credit cards. Need to buy something on Taobao? Book an ayi? Order more drinking water? Set up an Alipay account? Well, now you don’t need to troll around Sanlitun looking for a temporary girlfriend who can help out. No, now there’s a service just for you: WeChat Secretary.
Everybody has WeChat these days, which can now be used to order taxis, send friends money, and so much more. So why not use the same ubiquitous platform to help clueless foreigners get things done? The service claims it will help people do things like order more drinking water, open Alipay accounts, order items on Taobao, and even do things in person like accompany you to the hospital if you’re sick. WeChat Secretary will take a 10 percent service fee for going to the trouble.
It’s already gathering some buzz in the expat community with advocates like Kaiser Kuo and Wenjing Zhu of Dentsu PR who explains it as “WeChat Secretary takes care of the things I’m too lazy or indifferent to do myself…”
As WeChat Secretary founder David Lancashire explains it, the service began out of personal need. “There were various things I kept putting off simply because it was too much hassle to do, but of course never enough to hire a PA or bother friends and partners with trivial requests. Crowdsourcing a secretary seemed a strangely compelling idea.”
As an affordable personal concierge service that can act as a online purchasing agent, Lancashire said “People can ask [WeChat] to do anything a secretary can do — if we can’t already do it we’ll figure out how to get it done.”
So if you need a rush delivery of 1,000 ping pong balls — WeChat’s strangest request so far– WeChat can help you out.