Like many places in the world, the cellphone has taken center stage of daily life in China. Accompanying China’s mobile explosion are its thriving APP markets (that’s pronounced “A-P-P” if you didn’t know). Here you can find a list of some of the most popular and useful APPS in China and their appropriate download links. The APPS have been organized by category for browsing convenience.
If you’re a student of Chinese chances are you are already quite familiar with this APP. Pleco is a good dictionary with lots of add-ons including a camera reader and flashcards. Don’t forget to use the ‘clip reader’ function which allows you to effortlessly read entire paragraphs of material that you have copied onto your clipboard. Supplement this APP’S lack of examples by using Youdao dictionary or nciku/line dictionary.
HANPING (Android only)
Similar to Pleco, Hanping is a great mobile Chinese dictionary. The basic version of this APP is free with add-ons available for purchase.
FIREFLY FM 蜻蜓(qīngtíng)
Need to give those tīnglì scores a little boost? Firefly has thousands of radio programs for you to listen to from a wide range of categories.
BAIDU MAPS 百度地图(bǎidùdìtú)
Let’s face it, the first step to going anywhere is knowing where you are. This APP’s GPS and accurate compass will ensure you know exactly where you are at all times. While the APP accepts pinyin input, recognizing some Chinese will make using this APP much easier.
METRO CHINA SUBWAY
English APP for all your subway map needs. For the Chinese version simply search for地铁通(dìtiětǒng) in your APP store.
It appears dīdīchūxíng has yet to be released on Google play, but the APP’s predecessor (dīdīdǎchē) can be found here . Otherwise just use the Baidu search engine to search for 应用宝 (yìngyòngbǎo) from your cell phone. yìngyòngbǎo is the most commonly used APP store in China. After which you can download the Dīdīchūxíng APP.
UBER is a great way to save money on taxis in China because the company is losing upwards of $1 Billion USD a year as it competes with dīdīchūxíng for market share. Users will need a credit card to use the service (both international cards and Chinese credit cards are ok). Like in most places, the trouble with Uber lies in the lack of vetting of its drivers. Female users should be particularly cautious and might even want to avoid the service altogether if riding alone.
An English platform to conveniently book train tickets, airfare, hotels etc.
Another great option in travel APPs. This APP has a great selection of travel options and should certainly be considered when booking your next trip.
Great selection of music and because it’s powered by good ol’ Tencent you know you can share all of your favorite jams to WeChat.
As close as one can get to a Spotify clone. Although the APP has been running into IP hurdles it nonetheless gives users the ability to stream from a vast library of music.
Known as the “The Chinese Yelp” this APP is loaded with pictures, reviews and coupons. Discover the delicious delicacies in your neighborhood!
Coupons for almost anything you can imagine. Restaurants, movie tickets, hotels, train tickets all at a great price; A fantastic way to explore China on a budget.
A clone of Tinder. Find the partner of your dreams, all you have to do is swipe!
Accounts you can ‘charge up’ with money and use to pay for an array of items in China including taxis! With these wallet APPS traditional wallets are essentially obsolete.
ALIPAY支付宝(zhīfùbǎo): Alibaba’s wallet APP.
WECHAT WALLET: Tencent’s wallet APP; can be found within Wechat.
When it comes to sheer shopping selection Taobao is king. The site allows users to browse millions of products, many of which are high quality counterfeits. Users should use discretion when making purchases as a large number of the items are indeed fake.
JD is an online marketplace similar Taobao but specializes in electronics. The site does a good job of limiting the sale of fake merchandise. Of course, users should do their best to vet sellers and use their best judgment when making purchases. Lastly, JD takes cash on delivery, making it awesomely convenient.
A tried and true VPN that works across all platforms. Although it is a paid service, three devices can operate on the same account simultaneously.
A free VPN for iOS products.
China Air Pollution Index:
A reliable APP that that provides air quality information for cities all across China.
Is there an APP that is indispensable to your life abroad? Be sure to share it in the comments section below!