Top 5 Chinese Apps You Must Have When Visiting China
May 12th, 2020
We never know or hear that in another part of this world there is a country that has its app( Chinese Apps) for communicating and using Life. Often when we hear about social networking tools or any other network tools, we think of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or other tools.
Today in this article we will talk about the top 5 Chinese apps that the Chinese people use in their daily life and that you must have before visiting China.
Chapter 1 WeChat App: more than normal Chinese apps
Many people ask if Wechat is the same as WhatsApp, but it’s completely different because WeChat is more than just communication or calling app. Many advantages distinguish this application.
Wechat is a Chinese application created by the Chinese technology giant Tencent, one of the largest Asian companies, it is one of the most popular applications in China with more than one billion active users which makes it the top of the most used applications in China.
Wechat is a mix of Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, PayPal, Ctrip, and other Chinese apps. It’s much more than a messaging app: because it has many features that are hard to find an equivalent.
With the WeChat app, you can text your friends, call them, share your photos and videos at your moments, transfer and pay money, buy plane and train tickets, book and call a taxi, pay the bus from your phone. order and pay for food, make an appointment, pay your bills, take the metro, book a trip, buy entrance tickets for almost all events and pay all with a simple QR code, all in one application that is easy to use.
In China without WeChat it would be unimaginable and would make life even more difficult to adapt with, however, paying cash is a real challenge because the majority don’t deal with cash so have a WeChat account is the best solution to make life easy in china.
With WeChat, you can pay for everything almost anywhere in China, you only have to scan other’s WeChat barcodes and after that, you add the amount you have to pay and it will be automatically transferred to their WeChat wallet linked to their bank account. How to Install WeChat App? To use the WeChat app simply : -Download the app from your phone store (PlayStore, App Store), it’s available for android or IOS. – Once you finish installing, open the app, and start creating your account, make sure you provide the right information. -After completing the registration, log in with your personal information(username and password ) and make sure of your identification number and telephone number, because later you will need to be verified to be able to keep using the app. – Obtain a Chinese bank account and link it to your WeChat account now and start adding your friends, chat, share into your moments, create and participate in groups ..! enjoy the app.
In early 2019, Tencent company announced that during 2018, more than 45 billion messages were sent via WeChat daily, supplemented by 410 million audio and video calls.
Also, the company reported that the WeChat app accounted for 34% of total mobile data traffic in China in 2017.
Chapter 2 Alipay: One of the Best Chinese Apps to Make Payments
If we talk about the WeChat as a necessary app in Chinese daily life, we must also talk about another application that is very and more necessary but different, it’s Alipay.
Alipay is the most used online payment service in China, it is ranked second after WeChat with over 150 million daily transactions and over one billion active users, it’s the leader in online and mobile payments, users. Pay online, easy, and secure.
Alipay Wallet (Alipay Wallet), which also includes a mobile app to allow users to directly deal with mobile phones in their daily payments using the most advanced encryption technology for secure transactions. Alipay is a primary payment method for any business seeking to reach a very large number of clients in China and other countries.
This payment solution is available in 80 countries and has already occupied over 100,000 stores outside of China.
Alipay remains the easiest way to make payments from a mobile phone user to the other user by scanning QR codes.
After requesting and entering the password, the amount will be transferred directly from the user’s bank account to the recipient’s bank account or Alipay wallet. You can also go through Alipay to pay your bills for everyday life, recharge your telephone credit, etc. If you want to transfer your money with Alipay, you can transfer money from your bank account to your Alipay wallet via the app, and your purchases will be deducted from your Alipay wallet or your bank account. How to Install Alipay App?
– Download the app from your phone store (PlayStore, App Store), it’s available for android or IOS.
– Once you finish installing, open the app and start creating your account with your Chinese phone number, Alipay will send a text message with a confirmation code to your number to verify if you are the holder of the number and confirm your registration after entering the code then set up a password on the next step to log in and start using the app. -After you enter, go to my account, my cards, and enter your bank card info(card type, your name, ID type passport, ID number, mobile number). -Once you finished all the necessary steps, start using the app, and make your life in China easier.
Alipay Statistics: -In 2019: More than 577.4 million people in China purchased proximity mobile payment within six months.
-In2020: More than 50% of the country’s population will use the Alipay payment method.
-In 2023: The number will rise to 60.5%.
Chapter 3 Baidu Maps: Your Chinese Apps Assistant for guiding
In China, as everyone knows you’ll need a VPN to use your favorite Chinese apps via Google, and Google Maps is one of them that can’t be used, but don’t panic there is a similar application better, its Baidu Maps.
Perhaps everyone knows and use google’s maps, but did you know that China has its maps application, perhaps no, Baidu maps is really important in China and necessary so that you can move around easily. With Baidu Maps, you can browse maps for every city you search, find locations, exact address, query bus driving routes, view real-time traffic conditions, and your travel guide can be when you visit anywhere in China.
Simply enter the address you want to go to, the map will show you the exact location with different options (use a taxi, bus, bike or walking) for example if you choose a taxi, the map will give you full accuracy between you and the locations, the exact time of arrival and how much will that cost you, however, if you choose the bus, the map will show you the nearest bus station around you and the number of the bus that will take you to your final destination.
If you are using the metro, the application can inquire about the ride plan and the exact time, in fact, it can be your life assistant anywhere in China.
How to Install the Baidu App – Download the app from your Phone store(Chinese store), it’s available for Android or IOS.
The app is very easy to use, you only need to enter the address you’d like to go, and don’t forget to turn off the VPN while using the Baidu map to make faster.
Baidu Maps statistics:
The number of mobile devices Baidu reaches 1.1 billion.
The number of Baidu daily users: over 200 million.
The number of monthly mobile active search: more than 700 million.
Chapter 4 Ctrip: The best Chinese Apps to book and travel easier
Ctrip is a unique platform, which focuses on all the information necessary for travelers to prepare and book their stay in China.
It is the first app for tour operators in China, and the first online tour guide with more than 300 million users (including more than 56 million users for the application), and 73% of Chinese travelers use it for this purpose which makes Ctrip the number 1 OTA in Chinese tourism.
In 2017, 12.4 million Chinese tourists visited Europe, according to the European Travel Commission, and on Ctrip bookings to Europe increased by more than 26%.
At the crossroads between Tripadvisor and Expedia, it offers even more services such as different means of transport, visa order, etc.
Since its creation in 1999, Ctrip has considerably enriched its offer and extended it beyond the Chinese borders.
Ctrip also allows you to compare prices and buy tickets online for different types of transport: plane, train, bus, and even car rental.
Then, the agency has a complete portfolio of accommodation, reinforced abroad since it entered into a partnership with Booking.
It, therefore, offers hotels in more than 170countries.
Finally, Ctrip allows you to buy leisure services or tickets to tourist sites, as well as book cruises or other package offers.
According to data from Fast data:
-In 2019: The Number of travel booking users reached more than 146 million
-In 2019: The number of online travel agency(OTA) users reached more than 145.6 million.
Install The App
To use Ctrip to travel in China, you only have to :
-Download the app from your phone store(Play Store, App Store), it’s available for android or ios.
-Open the app and chose the transport system you want to use, it can be a train or planes.
– Chose the city you are in, and the one you are going to
– Select the train/flight you want and make sure that you select the right airport/train station).
– Fulfill all the information about you suing your passport and pay to get your ticket immediately.
Chapter 5 Taobao: The Famous Chinese Apps for Shopping online
Taobao is a Chinese platform for selling products inside China and belongs to the Alibaba Group. It is often used by all Chinese. It is very similar to the Amazon website in America, but the site cannot send products outside of China.
Due to the Chinese preoccupation, the majority prefer to buy their needs from the Internet. Taobao is the best place for that due to its competitive prices and quality.
The application provides many advantages that protect the rights of the buyer, so if you buy and do not like the product, then, of course returning it and receiving your money is a good solution.
Additionally, the delivery time is very short, generally less than two days in China, or even only 15 hours in certain cases! Taobao was shipped abroad for a short time, and he also took European cards like Visa. So you no longer need to get a Chinese credit card. But right now it can ship only inside china. Unfortunately, the application is in the Chinese language, and the method of payment is done directly through the application that is linked to your Alipay account or using the credit card.
According to Emarketer website
-in 2019: The global retail market will reach $25.038 trillion with an increase of 4.5%.
Install The App
To use Taobao to shop in China, you only have to :
-Download the app from your phone store (PlayStore, App Store), it’s available for android or ios.
– Register Your Account using your Chinese number phone. -After you enter your phone you will get a code to verify your account
Once you finished you will have to link your Taobao account into your Alipay account or you can use your credit card to pay.
Other App you can use during your living in china:
Chapter 6 Mobike: Your Bike Waiting For You
Mobike is a Chinese company offering self-service bikes in all cities around China.
MoBike offers a free month use, however, it doesn’t get too expensive, rides start at 1 CNY each time.
Just via your phone, you can go wherever you want to go, all you have to do is to scan the bike Qr to unlock the bike automatically then start enjoying, make sure you park the bike in the right place and safely when you finish and end the journey, back to the app and choose lock bike then the bike will be locked automatically.
-The number of bike Mobike operate 8million bike.
-The number of active users: 200 million users.
-The number of countries Mobike active in 16 countries around the world.
-Mobike users have traveled a total of 2.5 billion kilometers.
To start using Mobike application you:
-Download the app from your phone store. – Set up an account with your ID and pay a deposit.
Chapter 7 DiDi App: More than One Choice.
You have two possibilities to choose which kind of cars Express, the cheapest where sometimes some other people are riding with you so it will take a long time but it’s the cheapest Expressway or in another hand the expensive way where you will be sure that you will be alone on the car with the driver.
After choosing the express car and launching your request, all taxi drivers near you will try to accept the offer, you must wait for a response from drivers, generally, after a fairly short time, someone will accept your request and come take you to the final destination.
For example, if the distance is 5 kilometers, drivers still like 15 minutes to arrive, the app will help you see all the information about this driver who has already taken your offer, you can see his name, rating stars, number car, where he is and even the color of the car.
You just have to wait for his arrival, if he has not arrived, you can cancel the offer and choose another driver.
To start using it, download DIDI from the App Store, open it, and as you can see on the map, as the image showed that the green dot on the map actually indicates where you are now, it is automatically detected by your phone’s GPS.
You don’t even have to enter your particular location just need to enter your final destination and where you want to go.
You don’t even have to enter your particular location just need to enter your final destination and where you want to go.
-450 million customers -30 million journeys ride every day. – 80% market share in a taxi.
-85% market share in a private car
Chapter 8 Meituan: Order Your Food From Home
It is a Chinese application to order food in China online, using only a mobile phone, the application called Meituan. you don’t have to go out, you can start and order food from the app, food will come straight to your door or anywhere you are.
The App has over 290 million monthly active users and 600 million registered users as of April 2018 with over 130 million annual active purchasers.
After you install the app and set up your address, you can begin to order food, you use your location if you want to order food to home or hotel, you can always change the address and your location each time you change your living place.
The app also can offer you the food near you and show you all stores you can check and see the food you want, you can order from different stores and make it in one order in the end then you pay only one time using your Alipay, WeChat or other credit cards.
– Over 600 million users are connected to the app.
-5 million local sellers that provide services and their products.
It may seem to some that life in China requires effort, but the reality is another thing. China, with its machines apps, made life faster and easy.