Read below to discover the Top 10 Best Apps for living in China

Turbocharge your experience in China by adding these apps to your arsenal. If you haven’t noticed already people in China’s lives are dominated by their mobile phones, from mobile payments to transport, your mobile phone can be used to do almost anything here in China. The best way to access all the best features in China is through mobile apps and there are plenty to choose from. Below we have compiled your go to guide for your every need in China.

1.

Communication and Payment Apps – WeChat / Alipay

What would a list of Chinese lists be without mentioning WeChat. You are likely to have heard of this app already and you are most likely already using it. With its main function as a messaging and calling service this app offers so much more than just that. Whilst you will not need another app for any form of communication among friends and even work colleagues, WeChat’s Groups function is where it really comes alive. In Chengdu we have made a guide of all our favourite groups you should be joining to live your best life in the city. Click Here to Check them out.

WeChatPay & AliPay

WeChat also allows you to pay almost everywhere from large shopping centres, to international chains and even your local street vendor. This and Alipay (支付宝) zhifubao, are the only payment apps that Chinese people need and payments can be used by just scanning a QR code (You will see QR codes everywhere in China).

alipay-wechatpay

You can very easily send and receive money with your contracts and can deposit your WeChat Wallet balance into your linked bank account. You can also pay for things such as your phone bill and utilities using Wechat.

2.

Ride Hailing / Taxi – DiDi

Welcome to China’s answer to Uber with the app completely dominating the ride hailing market in China, a company which is likely to surpass Uber in value soon, according to CNN. With this app, you can either use your phone to hail a DiDi driver or hail an official city taxi for you, or you can reserve a car for a specific time. The drivers are rated which provides a level of accountability which you can trust.

DiDi-logo

 

Don’t worry if your Chinese isn’t that strong as you can use English names of places or show the driver the location, they all use navigation, so you don’t have to worry about giving directions. It will also be able to synch with your WeChat account and select automatic payments for ultimate ease, with functions such as the app being able to remember where you tend to go at certain times or on certain days and suggest the location for you.

3.

Travel – Bike Rental – Ofo or Mobike

Want to burn some calories and save some money whilst you travel? Then taking a bike may be the better option for you. You are in luck as there is bike sharing apps like Ofo and Mobike. These apps allow you to use any of their bikes by scanning a QR code, it is very cheap and you can leave the bike in any location, also it is usually faster than taking the bus.

 

ofo + mobike

 

4.

Navigation – Baidu Maps

 

baidu-maps

For navigating yourself around the city Baidu Maps is the equivalent of Google maps in china. Offering far better insight and knowledge into all of the streets and city networks, it also gives the times and routes by bus, subway, bike and plenty more. Despite it being in Chinese, it simple user-friendly interface is still simple to use and can help you get familiar with Chinese names of places.

5.

Train and Flight Books – CTRIP

ctrip

 

If you are looking to go slightly further astray and book yourself some train and plane tickets then this app is perfect for you, and even better is they have stopped charging a fee for train tickets.

6.

Food and Drink Delivery – Waimai

If you are familiar with apps like Uber eats or Deliveroo in Europe and the US then look no further than to these Chinese equivalents. You have probably seen a lot of food delivery guys rushing around the city, these are known as ‘Waimai guys’. In Modern Day China, you can get whatever you want delivered to your door. Choose a restaurant from the app, select the food you want and pay with WeChat or Alipay, the app will remember your address and your order history, you can even order thing from a supermarket, including items for your kitchen or bathroom.

 

Meituan

meituan-dianping

E Le Me

e-le-me

Luckin Coffee

This coffee chain that was started in 2018 is spreading around China at an astonishing pace and is taking Starbucks head on to be the Coffee King of China. Their storefronts are popping up everywhere in cities like Xi’an and Chengdu so they can offer faster, fresher service than any of their competitors. With their own app they can cut out the Meituan middleman.

 

luckin-coffee-app

Liquor Easy

Whether you are planning a giant party or just want to order in your favourite whiskey, Liquor Easy promises a 20 minute delivery for everything your liver dares you to drink. They offer Beers, spirits, Baijiu to actual white wines, Liquor Easy will get you tipsy at the click of a button.

7.

Improve Your Chinese Language

If you are looking to brush up on your Chinese knowledge and access to terminology, look no further than apps like Hello Chinese, Pleco and Chinese Skill. Pleco allows you to either write in the stroke order of Chinese characters and get a definition or even speak It into the app and it will convert this into the characters and provide you with the pinyin and definition.

 

most-powerful-apps

 

8.

Shopping

Buying your groceries has being aided by a number of apps to make the shopping experience better.

Hema

hema-supermarket-store

This is the Alibaba company’s new chain of mobile-forward supermarkets, filled with fresh meat and produce and lots of other snacks and surprises. What’s even better about these supermarkets is that they integrate the online shopping experience with an in person one. This means you can shop for all your essential groceries from the comfort of your home, you can also use the Taobao app or the Hema app however they only take alipay.

To Find Out More about Hema – Check Out our article: Supermarkets Of The Future

Jingdong Dao Jia

Alternatively JD.com’s app Jingdon Dao Jia will fill the void nicely. Rather than focusing on one supermarket chain this provides access to a range of different supermakrets as well as smaller specialty shops like local fruit and produce markets

 

jd.com

9.

Errands / Task Service

Ever feel you are short for time and aren’t able to go out and complete that errand because you have an important work deadline approaching. Then look no further than the following apps.

 

E Dai XI

A door cleaning service, good for those special items you just can’t risk having in your washing machine, it doesn’t come cheap with about 20RMB per garment usually but what you are paying for is the convenience of not having to go anywhere.

UU

This is china’s answer to task Rabbit, and UU drivers can be a very useful courier service, able to send and receive items between two locations such as collecting your keys or going to a store to get something for you. Your UU guy can also wait in line for you at the bank, at the hospital or even at restaurants, All for a small fee.

A YI Bang

These matches users to works that can provide services they might need around the house such as cleaning or repairs. Costs will be incurred by the hour, but there is a staggering list of services on offer as well

10.

Additional Apps

To Finish Up this list of the top 10 Apps to Use in China we have provided a short list of additional apps to help you out.

Latest News – SupChina

For all the breaking news be sure to check this out

sup-china

Social Media – Weibo

This social media works similar to twitter and operations like a live feed.

weibo

Dating – TanTan

China’s equivalent to Tinder. Get swiping to find your match

tan-tan

Photo Editing – Meitu

Get the perfect filter for your favourite selfies

meitu

Air Quality Index: Plume

Make sure you are aware of the pollution levels wherever you are

plume

Entertainment: Douyin

Known as TikTok Outside of China, this app is now the most downloaded app in the world providing hours of entertainment of user made content.

Douyin

To keep up to date and find out more about the latest and best apps make sure you follow our WeChat – Scan Below

To Find the best WeChat Groups to Join in Chengdu click here and we will be happy to add you to them

Author: CdExpat_Team

goteam!

CDIS China Chengdu