• Salah Elbaba

China: there's an app for that

In this day and age technology is king. No where is this more true than the techno-giant country that is China. Adjusting to expat life in China can take some time for new teachers. Luckily, there are loads of apps designed to make life in China a breeze!


The most popular and most important app you will need in China is WeChat. This app will essentially replace WhatsApp whilst you are in China. WeChat is so much more than your average messaging app. You will use it to communicate for work (it's used more than emails) and you can use it to pay for things using its ewallet function. If it's a language problem you wish to resolve, Google Translate will help.


Whilst we are on the topic of money. Another app you will find useful to have is AliPay. This is an ewallet app which allows users to pay accounts and bills; register for hospitals and transfer money. It is fully integrated with other apps such as Uber, AirBnb and Taobao.


So now that you know how to spend money, you can use apps like Taobao to purchase goods. Unlike Takealot, Taobao links stores and sellers to buyers, so some products will be generic no name brand knock offs. However, brands can have verified accounts which assures buyers of product authenticity.


Sometimes, after a long hard day of teaching and moulding minds, you don't feel like going out to find food or cook and make dishes. That's where apps like Ele.me or Meituan come in handy. You can browse through a variety of meals and treats which you can order and have delivered directly to you.

Getting Around

Need a cab? No problem. Uber is very accessible and popular in China, however it is fast being overtaken by the company called DiDi. It works almost exactly the same as Uber. If you are feeling healthy, you can hire a bicycle using an app like Ofo.


There are so many apps which you can use to pass the time. The most popular one would be the music app Xiami. It works very much like Spotify. You can access your favourite social media and streaming apps with the help of your VPN.

If you would like to go out and make some new friends, you could sign up for Meetup and look for people near you in China who have the same interests as you.

Whatever your needs, China has an app for it!


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