Must-Have apps for teaching and living in China in 2019 (Updated monthly)

Mei tuan – 美团外卖

This app is the JustEat, SkipTheDishes, and Uber Eats of China. It’s all in Chinese so you will need the help of Chinese speaking friend but once it’s set up its incredibly easy to get food right to your door in 30 minutes. You’ll be surprised how cheap eating out is in China!


Didi is the Uber and Lyft of China. You may be beginning to notice that China has its own version of all the big American apps and companies. Because they do. It’s simple to use and comes in English!


This is the number one app to have in China, you literally use it for everything from communication, to paying people and bills and searching things online. Its connected to everything. You’ll likely need to download this app before arriving in China.


Swapsy is a new and innovative way to get money out of China. Sending money out of China can be time consuming and a little difficult. Skip spending hours at the bank and send money home via Swapsy.

Metro app

Any decent size city with metro lines will have a specific app that tells you each metro stop and what lines connect. It’s useful to download one of these apps and save yourself some time and stress.


Taobao is the Amazon of China. It’s owned by a little company called Alibaba. It has literally everything and always at China prices. This app can get addicting. It’s in Chinese so again you’ll need help setting it up. But once it’s set its easy to use.


Alipay is an extensive of Alibaba, its a payment service. It’s probably the second largest online payment app next to WeChat Pay. We find using wechat pay easier. But its necessary to get Alipay as well. Some apps exclusively use Alipay, such as Taobao.

Microsoft translator

Its incredibly useful to have a translator on your phone for quick translation when dealing with a Chinese speaker who doesn’t understand English, and there’s many of them. We recommend this one and not Google Translator, because Google’s version requires a VPN

Apple maps / Tencent maps

Having a maps app is a no brainer when traveling. These ones work without VPN. We also recommend Google Maps though it can be inaccurate in some places.

China Train booking

This app is helpful for booking trains and buses if you plan on traveling around China, and we hope you do!

3 Responses so far.

  1. says:

    alot of info thank u alot

  2. Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

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