Three Essential Apps for China

3 Essential Apps

Once you’ve made it through the visa process, it starts to set in that in just a few short weeks, you will be moving to China. One of the first questions you might be wondering is “What apps should I download for China?” The list is ever growing and changing, just like China. However, here are a few that will really help before you arrive, when you first land at the airport and then once you get a little more settled.


If you are not asked before you arrive, “What is your WeChat?” your first day in the office will go like this:

  1. “How are you?” “
  2. “Did you have breakfast?”
  3. “Was your flight okay?”
  4. “Do you have WeChat?”

WeChat is the best of a messaging service, social media platform and a mobile wallet. If you are delayed on your way to China, you can connect to WiFi and send your new company contact a quick message and update them. You are bound to get a quicker response than by email. You can set up groups and communicate instantly and off course, keep up to date with what friends are doing. After you have a phone and have opened up a bank account, you can attach it to your bank account and start to pay for goods and services on your phone. Life is not just easier with WeChat in China, it’s a necessity.

Metro Guide

Until recently, I had a different map for each city in China I used to travel to. Each time I visited a new one, I spent a few minutes downloading a few different maps and testing them out to see which was best. Then, I met someone who introduced me to Metro Guide, an app with not only all the metro systems in mainland China, but also Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore! You just need to select the city and away you go. Your phone’s screen is not cluttered with different apps, it’s all in one!

Mobike and Ofo

Once you are all set up with your metro guide for your new city and mastered the subway, next is time to master the roads. China is the world’s largest bike sharing community which is strikingly obvious from day one. Mobike and Ofo are the two you will probably see first with their bright orange or yellow bikes. You just need to download the app, enter your details, pay a deposit and wait for approval. Once approved, you scan a bike to unlock it and ride off. When you are done, simply set the bike down at any official bike stand outside a supermarket, metro station, convenience store and so on and lock and walk away. Getting about town couldn’t be easier!