Navigating life in China can be tough for the foreigner who doesn’t speak Chinese, but thank God for smartphones! We’ve put together this list of the 9 most useful apps you must have in order to thrive and survive in China. Whether you’re job hunting, in need of a health check, feeling peckish for some Western food or need wine delivered to your doorstep within the hour, you’ve got it all down pat with these apps.
Expats Express is the China’s leading job search app for foreigners who are looking to land a job in China. The app features the dual seamless platform for both Chinese recruiters and the expat job seekers – the recruiters can choose to post their company details and job ads for free, while the job seekers see the job ads from the recruiters and can apply for the jobs directly. When applying, the app will suggest the users to fill out the personal curriculum vitae in the app before prompting the users with the chatting interface similar to WhatsApp and WeChat. The chatting system lets the job seekers communicate with the recruiters just like a messaging app through voice messages, emoticons, and videos. The app also lets the job seekers filter the job search by various options, e.g. city, salary, facility and names.
NiHao is the perfect tool for foreigners living or travelling in China, a free English app which provides a social / services platform to facilitate connections between people and make your lives easier. The app has features such as translations, weather forecasts, exchange rates, articles, wine deliveries, relocation, important addresses with no VPN required. NiHao is a multifunctional app that is fast and easy to use. One of the most popular features besides the app’s powerful translator are payments for train tickets and mobile top up – it’s all in english and you can pay with your debit card, PayPal and several other payment methods.
Chope is an app that provides 24/7 instant restaurant confirmations for reservations in Shanghai, thus saving you the embarrassment that comes with attempting to reserve on the phone in broken Chinese. It also helps to avoid the hassle of queues, long wait times, and the awkwardness that ensues with your date, client, or anyone else you don’t want to look like a fool in front of. Chope launched in Singapore over 5 years ago, and is now operating in 7 major Asian cities like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali, and Shanghai. “Chope” is actually Singaporean slang for saving a spot – usually by putting a napkin packet on a table in a crowded food court. The app is of course the elevated smartphone version of this, while also providing food guides, rewards, and exclusive deals for its users.
Your life in Shanghai is made easier by shopping online with Epermarket’s new app. You can find the products you miss from a place you trust. Whether shopping for their fresh selection, pantry, or the wide variety of non-food, and household items, you can choose from over 7,000 products to be delivered directly to your doorstep. Each product is hand-selected, competitively priced, and either imported or local safe. The app is available in 4 languages (English, French, Deutsch and Chinese) and you can easily pay online or on delivery with your local or international card, cash or even WeChat Pay.
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Ever need a chilled drink delivered, like, right NOW? BottlesXO is an app that let’s you order fine European wines and craft beer at reasonable prices. Their smiley drivers deliver chilled, ready to drink bottles to wherever you are, within a maximum of 60 minutes (with an average delivery time of just 28 minutes). If you’ve never tried them, do so now and you can enjoy an ¥50 off your first order with the code BXOIST. Bottles start at ¥75 with no minimum order and no delivery fee.
Spoonhunt is a brand new free app designed to take the uncertainty out of ordering food in China. Whether you’re travelling, visiting, or living in China, you can search through their database of millions of restaurants to find translated menus of all types of restaurants in every city in China. Pick out the food and dishes you want and order seamlessly with the waiter to get your order exactly right. Feel comfortable dining out in China with accurate restaurant information, taxi cards, bilingual menus and an ordering feature to tell the waiter what you want to eat. Their WeChat account features weekly articles promoting and introducing local food culture to foreigners.
The CareVoice is a free mobile app for finding doctors, hospitals, and treatments in Shanghai. You can search based on location, rating, insurance and more, as well as anonymously review your healthcare experiences and read other reviews to inform your future decisions. You can also access exclusive vouchers for discounts at health centers around Shanghai and read articles to stay informed on health related topics. The CareVoice’s mission is to make China’s healthcare system more transparent so that its community can make safer healthcare decisions.
From the team that brings you the China Restaurant Week, DiningCity has managed to put all the things they do into one app. The app lets you see all the restaurants around you, book restaurants in real-time, browse dining deals and most importantly see those precious Restaurant Week seats. They just released an update that sends you a push notification when seats in a wish listed restaurant becomes available. The core feature that is launching is called “off-peak dining”, a concept that offers you instant discounts on your bill if you eat earlier/ later than most people. Discounts runs up to 30% off depending on the time you book.
You have probably already heard of Lihaoma, the all year-long Santa Claus. The app is all about gifting: play and win free gifts everyday all around Shanghai. What a better way to discover the city than enjoy free experiences from brands like Feiyue, Jameson, Lizzy’s All Natural, DopeShifu, Hunter Gatherer, Mr Waffle, Pistolera, and Subconscious Day Spa. The challenges range from finding gifts hidden around the city, solving riddles or being the fastest to click to win a gift. You can also use Lihaoma as a last minute gifting solution: choose among their 30+ brands’ coupons, personalise them and send them to your friend via WeChat.