My top 9 apps for China

China is a digital country. Literally, everything you do is from your phone these days. I honestly can not think of one thing you can’t do with your phone in China. Here is a short breakdown of the top 9 apps I use for China. These apps I use daily and they make life in China so much easier.


WeChat is the WhatsApp of China. Everyone uses WeChat and it is so much more than just a messaging service. You can link your bank card to WeChat and then use that to pay or receive money. You are able to use WeChat to pay your bills and keep track of your money. It to search, almost like google but not with as many results. You use it to download mini-programs for many companies which help you to better access their services. You honestly won’t be able to serve in China without WeChat. Here is a great article on how to set up your Wechat account.


Alipay is another all-in-one app. You again can link your bank cards to Alipay and use it to pay through code scanning, showing your code, or transferring money.  Just like WeChat you can also use Alipay to pay your bills and check your balances. One can also use Alipay to rent ride share bikes which you will often see all over China. There is a mini program on Alipay called Takeout which is great for food and grocery ordering. 


Taobao is the main shopping app where you can honestly find anything you want. It is also very cheap and will come in a few days. Taobao can be a little dangerous as one can spend a lot of money on it without realising it. 


Didi is the Uber of China. 


Is a great app to find restaurants and services nearby. You can search a keyword such as “brunch” and it will come up with a bunch of restaurants that do brunch near you.


Meituan is another really useful app for ordering food and groceries. 

Apple Maps

I find apple maps works well 90% of the time. There are times when it might get the distance a little wrong but most of the time it works perfectly. 

Google Translate

Google translate works really well to translate live time with photos. However please note you will need a VPN in order to access google translate in China. 


Pleco is a great translation app as it gives you the word according to context. This can be helpful in ensuring you are explaining yourself correctly. 

Honestly life without a phone would not be possible in China. These 9 apps for China have been a lifesaver.

If you thinking of moving to China soon check out my post on what Life in China is like after Covid here.

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  1. Bibz

    Very useful information. Looking forward to more of your posts.

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