China Survival Kit: 15 Most important Apps!

Popular App’s in China InternsInBeijing

China Survival Kit

Useful APPs and Info In China

This APPs & survival tips will help you to live a hustle free and amazing life in China.

You need these APPs on your phone!

Communication & Payment
Daily Life
Baidu Waimai


Bike Sharing
Mobike is the most popular bike sharing APP in China. The orange bikes can be found everywhere and are very convenient to use. Pay a deposit and ride a bike almost for free. Click here to learn how to ride a Mobike for 90 days and only pay 5rmb for it. Alternative you can use ofo (yellow bikes).
Car Hailing
Didi is the Uber of China. Didi bought “Uber China” & kicked them out. While during the competition the prices of a ride where super low now you can still get a ride without having to wait (prices are similar to ordinary taxis).
China Map & Transport
Amap is an amazing map of China and helps you in orientation and transportation as it can show you how to get from A to B. It shows you the way to the next subway or bus station and how to get to your destination including the time it will take. An alternative is Baidu Maps.
Travel Agency
Ctrip is your holiday planner! The cheapest flights, easiest way to get your train ticket or to book a hotel. Even whole holiday packages. You can book 1 week Bali for 500dollars in a 5-star Hotel including flights! You might find the same trip on the other APP Qunar.

Communication & Payment

World Domination APP
Wechat is the APP to rule them all! This magic APP is a mix of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. If you connect your bank card to it you can pay all your bills with it: Electricity, subway, restaurants, and even beggars can be paid by Wechat Wallet. 

Online Payments
Alipay is the big competitor to Wechat Wallet! You have seen their sign in all stores, restaurants, and bars. Everything can be paid by Alipay. Connect your bank card and with everything you buy you get an additional discount.
Tantan is a very popular Chinese dating APP similar to Badoo or Tinder. Swipe left or right to find a match. A Similar Dating APP is Momo.


Offline Dictionary
Pleco is the probably best English Chinese helper you can get. It helps to improve your Chinese and it helps you in difficult situations as it is an offline Chinese – English dictionary. It translates to simple and traditional Chinese and even has audio to help your pronunciation. 
Scan Translator
Waygo is a very useful translator as it translates directly from a sign or menu. Just hover over the menu with the camera and it translates characters into English. You can also use Google Translate for this as this APP is not blocked in China.


Daily Life

Dianping gives you discounts in restaurants, bars, cinemas and more. So before you sit down in a restaurant check if they have any specials on Dianping. In 90% you will have a discount by paying through the APP. It also shows you all restaurants around you. If you look for pizza it will show you the next place.
baidu waimaiBaidu Waimai
Food Delivery
Baidu Waimai is an example of home delivery service. Are you hungry and lazy to cook? Also, you are too lazy to go out? Order your favorite food through the APP and wait for the delivery guy. Eleme is a good alternative.
AQIAir Quality
Pollution Index
AQ tells you when to wear a pollution mask as it monitors the PM2.5 concentration in the air. In most countries in Europe, it is between 10-50 while a winter in Beijing can easily have some days over 400. 
Online Shopping
Taobao is a shopping paradise. Everything you can imagine can be bought on Taobao! From food over toys to company contracts and houses. they even have a feature where you only need to upload a picture of a product you want and it will find it. Alternative you can use JD as your new shopping mall.
Currency Converter
XE is your currency calculator. If you are not yet familiar with the exchange rate of your currency XE will help you. This is especially interesting during a time where the RMB is going up crazy lately (USD dropped from 7.00 to 6.5rmb)
Business Contacts
CamCard is your little helper when it comes to the most important task in China: GUANXI! Building a Network! To keep all your business contacts together it is helpful to have Wechat but to keep it more professional you can use CamCard, simply take a picture of the business card and all info will be registered.

Besides APPs

While APPs will make your life a lot easier in China there is more to know in order to succeed.

Career Service
Fake Money
You will need a VPN to access websites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. As you can guess it is also not possible to access many VPN sites while in China. A page which is accessible without VPN in China is:
internsinbeijing logo Beijing internship provider chinaInternsInBeijing
Career & Networking
Within Wechat there are many Official Accounts with helpful information similar to APPs. If you are looking for internships, discounts, nightlife, festivals or to make new friends then you should follow the Wechat account of InternsInBeijing: The largest platform for Young Professionals in Beijing.

cheers-logo internship beijing wineCHEERS
If you are a wine lover you can find amazing wines for the lowest price in a CHEERS store around you. Make a membership card and you get a VIP member discount on every bottle you buy.

Survival Tips

2 final hints. You know already that you need to bargain in China. This especially in markets like the Silk Market(Yonganli Station Line 1). In average you can go for 10-20% of their starting price, so don’t mention your price first otherwise you will get ripped off.
Talking about ripping off: Watch out for fake money. Especially when riding a taxi. Never pay with a bill of 100 and if you don’t have change remember the last 3 digits of your bill when giving it to the taxi driver. Sometimes they give you the bill back and claim it to be fake. Check the digits and you will see he changed the bill!

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