Top Chinese Apps for 2020 You Simply Must Have
First and foremost ICYMI – here is part I of our best Chinese Apps!
Top 14 Chinese Apps You Must Download: Part 1
Top Chinese Apps for 2020 You Simply Must Have Coming to China for travels? Or heading to China for a longer period to study Mandarin, work, or intern in Shanghai? Whatever the reason and however long you will be staying…
The Chinese really do get it right when it comes to technology. Here’s a list of our top Chinese apps for Android and i0S not to miss out on.
Whether you’re in China for a short holiday or long-term work, you won’t regret preparing in advance with these helpful Chinese apps!
Welcome to part II of our Top Chinese apps to use. Get downloading!
Best Chinese App #8 – iQiYi
Best Chinese App #9 – Alipay
Best Chinese App #10 – Baidu Wai Mai
Best Chinese App #11 – Baidu Maps
Best Chinese App #12 – Tantan
Best Chinese App #13 – Taobao/Jingdong
Best Chinese App #14 – Trip.com
If you fancy listening to our team talk about our favourite apps, take a listen below, with Marketing Wizards, Max and Campbell
8. Chinese Apps: iQIYI – Netflix alternative
- Chinese Netflix
- Available in Chinese only
So this app is for the more advanced learner – or those with Chinese friends who can help them out with Chinese reading every now and then.
The app is not (yet) available in English, but it has a lot of foreign content – including films and dramas in English and other European languages.
You can use it on your phone or computer, just like Netflix. Except – it’s heaps cheaper, and not blocked in China.
One of the reasons it makes it to the list of top Chinese apps is that it costs about 15 yuan per month, which is just a couple of US dollars.
You can download lots of films and dramas onto your phone for offline use, and pick the quality so it doesn’t take up too much space on your phone. This is perfect if you’re traveling long distances in China!
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All of the films come with subtitles which help with understanding, as well as a strange commentary feature which shows people’s comments in real-time.
All of this is in Chinese, of course, so you can learn some colloquial language by reading these too!
It is very easy to set up, as you can use WeChat pay. If you can’t read Chinese, you can get someone to help you press the buttons to get to your downloads area. Once you’ve used it a few times it will be no problem!
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9. Chinese Apps: AliPay
- Chinese PayPal
- Available in English
WeChat pay (read more in Part 1 of our best Chinese apps blog) and AliPay are like Mastercard and Visa… You only really need one, because they both do the same job.
However, many Chinese people have both. AliPay is particularly useful for those that want to use Taobao – the Chinese version of Amazon.
However, WeChat also used the JD platform (similar to Taobao, but actually quicker) so you can do this on WeChat too.
Going into any store, you should be able to pay via WeChat or Alipay. It is rare that they will only accept one of the two.
WANT TO KNOW ALL THE COOL FEATURES INSIDE OF ALIPAY? Give us a few minutes, we’ll teach you…Ready…. GO
It is also useful since sometimes because, for no real reason sometimes (probably your English name) WeChat won’t connect with your card so you can use AliPay as a backup.
NOTE – One excellent bit of news foreigners received lately was that AliPay has decided to open its doors to foreign bank accounts meaning anyone can connect their bank card (whatever the country) and pay for things in China, cashless.
Everyone can join the AliParty…!
10. Chinese Apps: BaiduWaiMai
- Chinese UberEats/Food delivery service
- Available in Chinese only
Food is an essential part of life, however, sometimes you just don’t want to leave the comfort of your home.
While in the west pizza delivery is common place along with a few other fast food places that have begun delivering, in China everything can be delivered.
With cheap delivery fees and an inexhaustible range of restaurants to choose from, baiduwaimai will make your life easy and will be your best friend when the pollution sets in and you don’t want to leave the house.
Our favourite feature is not just ordering from restaurants, it is the ability to also do your grocery shopping on this app.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, wine, bread, toothpaste. When we said anything could be delivered, we weren’t exaggerating.
Again, Baiduwaimai may not yet have made the list of Chinese apps in English, but it’s a great way to practice your Chinese food vocab..!
11. Chinese Apps: BaiduMaps
- Chinese GoogleMaps
- Available in Chinese only
This top Chinese app is China’s version of Google Maps.
Google maps is actually blocked by the so-called Great Firewall of China.
This means using an app like Baidu is much easier especially when not connected to WiFi.
It has much more detailed information and works a lot quicker.
You can also send location information, and it generally has better, quicker, and more features than Google Maps.
The Chinese really do know how to do things properly!
BaiduMaps in English?
Unfortunately, BaiduMaps in English is not yet a thing… Many of the names will appear in Chinese, however, you can search for areas in English no problem!
Definitely a must for navigating China, when you realise how big it is… see below!
Keep your fingers crossed! We never know when China might pull BaiduMaps in English out of the bag, and people can enjoy one of the best top Chinese apps going!
12. Chinese Apps: TanTan
- Chinese Tinder
- Available in English
This is one for those lonely hearts of China… Tantan, China’s version of Tinder.
Again – it works quicker and more efficiently as an app than Tinder, with a great user-friendly interface.
If you’re after meeting people to practice Chinese, go for dates, or looking for the love of your life…
This app may or may not be the answer. Use with caution, and remember that dating in China may be different to what you’re used to in your culture!
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You will find mainly Chinese users on the app, however, there are also other foreigners that use it.
The Chinese people on the app probably won’t be able to speak English, so it genuinely is a great way to practice written colloquial Chinese at first. But you may get a bit bored of being asked the same questions over and over again…
13. Chinese Apps: Taobao/Jingdong
- Shop ’till you drop
- Buy anything your heart ever desired
A list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning two of China’s biggest apps, Taobao and Jingdong. Two behemoths in the Chinese app market.
Whatever you need, and I mean whatever, you can buy it here.
In fact, you’ll find a lot of things you DON’T need, yet you end up buying them because it’s so cheap/stupid/silly (insert adjective here)!
Top class fashion labels ✓, cheap tacky merchandise ✓, food and groceries ✓, football shirts ✓, winter hats ✓, headphones ✓… everything is covered with these two!
If it’s great bargains you are after, join the chaos of November 11th, China’s very own Black Friday…
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14. Chinese Apps: Trip.com
- Travel app
- Available in English
Trip.com, formerly (and still known by many as) Ctrip is an app to assist with all of your travel bookings! Flights, trains, hotels… In China and around the world!
This app is going to be your best friend if you’re planning to travel around China! Probably deserving of a higher position, but we’ve decided too save one of the best until last!
You can cut the queues and the hassle at the train station (and trust me, it IS hassle trying to buy a train ticket in China) by buying your ticket on Trip.com (for a small premium, of course, but we think it’s worth it!)
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For train travel, you can choose your date, time, and which type of ticket you want.
After purchasing, you will receive a booking code. Take this code, as well as your passport to the train station, and get your ticket! You can connect your foreign card, as well as using WeChat to pay.
As well as trains, you can also get cheap flights as it uses a system similar to Skyscanner.
Chinese Apps BONUS MATERIAL: VPN in China
A special shoutout goes to downloading a VPN app for China. This isn’t a Chinese app, and therefore not included in the list.
If you’re already in China and find yourself lost without Google, check the post here on how to download a VPN if you’re already in China.
How to Download VPN in China – Top 5 Tips
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