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Essential APPS in China


   Daniel Bartlett


China’s technology is booming, and apps here are almost a necessity as they make our daily activities more convenient and our errands more efficient. In china, there is really an app for everything, but I’m just going to talk about the apps I use daily.



Wechat is like Whatsapp on steroids, it adds many different aspects and functions of other apps all into one. It’s like facebook, whatsapp, paypal, uber, twitter, skype and so on all in one.

With wechat not only can I message my friends, I can also, videochat , call, send them gifs, send and receive money, pay bills, buy bus tickets, train tickets, flights, book hotels, group chat and share music, read the news, book movie tickets and order a taxi. It is literally the first app you need when in china.



Alipay is more like paypal. It is essential when buying online items, from taobao for example but it can also be used to send and receive money in convenient stores and pay for restaurant bills, hotel rooms and you can even trade stocks through this platform. In china we use QR codes for many things, you can scan the code with your phones camera and it will direct you to either pay for something or follow their web page or news feed. The greatest thing about alipay is that there are no charges, it’s just like paying with cash nut a lot quicker. The only charge is when you transfer money back into your bank account, you pay about 1yuan for every 100 yuan.

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Taobao is an online shopping heaven, you can find everything from imported food products and linen to motorcycles and fairy lights. It all gets shipped to your front door for a low cost and sometimes logistics are free. You can furnish your house, fill your fridge, upgrade your gadgets and even revamp your wardrobe all from your phone or pc. It’s really that simple and super easy to compare prices to get the best deal buying right from the source.


QQ music


Picture qq music as Spotify and Youtube/music combined. There is a huge list of almost any song you have ever hear don this app and its mostly for free. In two years I think maybe twice iv found a recent pop song that required registration to listen to. One of the best features of qq music is that it saves your last 100 songs for offline playback, so if you are out of data or in the mountains, you can still listen to your last 100 tracks. Win!!!

A few other apps that we use in china are PLECO which is the best translation app and has many functions and makes learning new Chinese words a walk in the park. Chinese Tinder is called Tantan with many of the same features as tinder. Ctrip is the all in one holiday planner, book and pay for flights and trains as well as hotels in china and abroad. The convenience of booking and paying all from your phone in seconds is unreal and they often offer great deals.