What Apps Are Popular and Useful in China?

Apps in China can do almost everything, from buying plane and train tickets to ordering food and even acting as a bank card.

Do you know what popular and useful apps are used in daily life in China? Have you used Chinese apps before?

In this article, we’ll share some of the most popular and useful apps to you.

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Hù lián wǎng (互联网)/wǎng(网): n. Internet


Zhè lǐ yǒu wǎng ma?
这  里  有     网   吗?
Is internet available here?

Shàng wǎng (上网): n. Surf the internet; to get on the internet


Nǐ de shǒu jī kě yǐ shàng wǎng ma?
你 的    手  机 可 以  上      网    吗?
Does your phone have internet access?

Shopping online

In China, you can find anything you need online.

A reminder: for an extra layer of security when paying for items online in China, use Alipay or WeChat when checking-out.

But you should know that you can’t use WeChat or Alipay without first opening a Chinese bank account.

Here are some platforms of online shopping in China:

1. Táo bǎo (淘宝) Taobao – China’s largest marketplace
2. Tiān māo (天猫) TMall
3. Jīng dōng (京东) JD.com – Fastest Shipping Options
4. Pīn duō duō (拼多多) Pinduoduo

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Wǎng shàng gòu wù(网上购物): n. shopping online


Tā jīng cháng zài wǎng shàng gòu wù.
他  经     常     在    网      上     购   物。
He often goes shopping online.

Ordering food Online

Food delivery is a trending business in China.

You can order almost everything you want online, such as the things you can buy in supermarkets, medicine, food for animals, flowers and so on.

So far, the three largest food delivery apps, è le me (饿了么) Ele. me, and měi tuán wài mài (美团外卖) Meituan Waimai have dominated over 90% of the food-delivery market in China.

In the country, food take-out has become the second largest dining scene, and China is about to enter the era of “Nationalwide Take-out”.

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Wài mài(外卖): n. Take-out, takeaway.


Nǐ xiǎng chū qù chī hái shì dìng wài mài?
你   想     出   去  吃  还  是   定    外  卖?
Do you want to eat out or order take-out?

Wǒ huì yòng shǒu jī dìng wài mài.
我    会    用     手  机  定    外  卖。
I can order takeout on my phone.

These apps make you live better
1. Dà zhòng diǎn píng (大众点评) Dazhong dianping, or Chinese version of Yelp

The app is China’s leading local lifestyle information and trading platform and claims to be the world’s first independent third-party consumer review website, with more than 200 million unique mobile users.

It offers full coverage of travel and lifestyle services such as hotel reservations, movie ticket booking.

The platform also offers group-buy and daily offers on local services and products that are based on the users’ geographical location, behavior and preference.

Consumers frequently use the app to both read and leave reviews on local services and restaurants, similar to Yelp.

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Diǎn píng (点评) v./n. Common on, review.


Kě yǐ zài xià miàn diǎn píng, ràng wǒ men zhī dào nǐ de yì jiàn.
可 以 在  下   面     点    评,  让    我   们   知   道  你 的 意 见。
Let us know by leaving a comment below.

2. Xiǎo hóng shū (小红书) Little Red Book

Some say it’s “kind of like Instagram, Etsy, and Amazon all in one.

Xiǎo hóng shū (小红书) is first and foremost a content sharing site, where users can post product photos with reviews and tips for other users to read, comment, and save to their boards – like Pinterest.

In fact, some have described the platform as being a product search engine, like if you put a product (or a restaurant, a hotel, etc) in the search box, you will find tens of thousands of reviews about it, which will help you make better choices.

Some people call it the “One-stop app”, as you can almost search for everything on it: how to make a certain dish, daily horoscope, the preparation process for an exam, how to learn a language, watch livestreaming…to name but a few.

And you can also watch buy things on it! Isn’t it omnipotent?

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3. Useful map applications

Like Google map, China also has several useful maps.

The commonly-seen on the phones of the Chinese are: Bǎi dù dì tú (百度地图) Baidu Maps, Gāo dé dì tú (高德地图) AMaps, Téng xùn dì tú (腾讯地图) Tencent Maps.

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Dì tú (地图): n. Map


Nǐ shǒu jī shàng yǒu dì tú ma?
你   手  机    上    有  地  图  吗?
Do you have a map (application) on your phone?

Wǒ xū yào yòng dì tú chá yī xià.
我   需  要    用  地  图  查 一 下。
I need to look it up on a map.

What other Chinese mobile apps do you know? Are there any useful apps that you want to recommend to others? You’re welcome to comment in the section below!

You May Want to Learn More :

“Want to Do Business with Chinese? These Dinner Etiquette is Essential!”
“The Secret of Speaking Like the Locals – Chinese Slangs”
”What Questions Will You Be Asked in China?”

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