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10 Best Apps for Travel in China – Must Have

If you’re planning to attend a course in or visit, China is likely aware that you must be prepared not to access all of the apps you use every day.

For the past 15 or so years, China has been blocking numerous Western websites and apps by

the phenomenon called “the Great Firewall of China.” It is a good thing that China has created several apps of its own, many of which are equally good or even better than their Western counterparts.

 What are the Best Apps for Travel in china?

In the beginning, we’ll explain more about why China has blocked Western apps and what of your apps can expect to be restricted.

Be aware that you can use the VPN service that lets you bypass the firewall and use the apps you normally use.

However, if you’re wondering about the best Chinese applications you can employ to make life more comfortable in China, We’ve covered it all.

What are the reasons why China bans certain websites and apps?

As previously mentioned, China has been blocking Western websites and apps since 2008. “The Great Firewall,” also known as the “Great Firewall,” was originally developed to restrict western social media applications or websites for “public security” reasons.

Still, it has since been increased to block a broad array of websites and apps such as news media and maps, search engines, blogs, and even everyday productivity applications.

In blocking the access of foreign sites and applications, China created an opportunity for various local internet companies to develop.

As a result, China has developed its own exciting and unique internet business. While some Western websites aren’t available in China, there are Chinese equivalents (sometimes more reliable).

If you’re planning to travel to or live in China, you should know what apps are blocked and what alternatives local to them are.

Best Apps for Travel

21 apps that are popularly restricted in China

To help you prepare for the future and avoid surprises or confusions For your convenience, here’s an extensive list of the most popular Western applications that are blocked in China:

  • Google
  • Google Maps
  • Google Play
  • Wikipedia
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • Line
  • Signal
  • YouTube
  • Spotify
  • Netflix (not technically restricted, but no content is available for China’s mainland). China)
  • New York Times
  • BBC
  • CNN
  • Dropbox
  • G-Suite (Google Drive, Docs, Calendar)
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Slack
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Top 10 apps available in China for studying and traveling

The top apps for travel in China can make you feel Chinese.

There are a variety of amazing apps that can simplify your life in China easier to travel and live. 

Certain apps are comparable to the familiar Western apps while others are exclusive to China. 

These are some of our best picks to the top apps for those living and working in China:

1. Any VPN

It’s a good idea The top application you must install before visiting China is an unpaid or free VPN service.

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is computer and phone software that lets you bypass Chinese firewalls.

Chinese firewall and allow access to all websites and apps blocked within China.

 VPN gives you an Internet address that appears to be in a different country than China.

There are no-cost VPN services; however, they’re often restricted in China.

Recommended VPNs: Panda Pow, Express VPN

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2. Digital Wallet

The reason it’s beneficial: China is in the process of eliminating cash.

If you visit China, you’ll see that you can pay with one of two well-known Chinese digital wallets all over the place, even in tiny food stands.

The most recommended apps are Alipay WeChat (includes WeChat Pay).

Note that while Alipay offers the option for travelers to use a credit card WeChat Pay requires a Chinese bank account and a telephone number.

3. Ride-Hailing: Didi Chuxing (Didi)

The reason it’s useful: As the largest Chinese ride-hailing service, Didi is one of the top apps for travel within China at a local level.

It comes with an English language application and lets you hail virtually every type of vehicle, such as a taxi van, van, limousine, as well as a shared bicycle.

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Didi is also connected to WeChat, which means that If you’re using WeChat, it is easy to locate it in the WeChat Wallet.

4. Pleco

It’s a good idea to use it if you’re located in China, and you’re not fluent in the language, and then you’ll likely need a handy pocket dictionary to navigate around.

Pleco is the top phone dictionary application available.

It comes with a fantastic Chinese-English dictionary, English-Chinese, and many other awesome features.

For instance, you could find Chinese characters that you encounter on the street with the handwriting function. One of the best apps to live in China.

5. Messaging: WeChat

The reason it’s beneficial: WeChat is the largest messaging application in China and, therefore, should you be looking to make new acquaintances, This app is an absolute must-have.

Apart from its chat function, WeChat offers a variety of other features.

Apart from WeChat Pay which is the digital wallet we discussed earlier, WeChat also has “Moments” like a Facebook feed. It also has “Channels,” the equivalent of Reels on Instagram Integrations with online shopping, ticket booking, and much more.

There are a variety of messaging applications in China; however, WeChat is the most well-known.

If you’re downloading anything other than WeChat, it’s an essential app to have in China.

6. Maps Maps. me and iMaps Baidu maps

The reason it’s useful: Because Google Maps is blocked in China, you’ll require an alternative.

Apple users can utilize; however, it is possible to use Maps in the case of Android users.

Me and the Chinese application, Baidu Maps. Baidu Maps is the most accurate, but although you can enter your destinations’ names using English characters, the interface is in Chinese.

7. Streaming: iQiyi or Bilibili

If you’re missing YouTube or Netflix, here are a few essential apps you should have in China.

The two iQiyi and Bilibili represent the two most well-known Chinese video-related alternatives.

iQiyi is the largest Chinese streaming service with plenty of paid content and affordable monthly charges, and Bilibili can be described as the Chinese equivalent of YouTube.

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8. Travel Booking: Trip

The reasons it’s beneficial: From booking hotels to purchasing train tickets online, the app is also one of the top apps for travelers within China.

The trip is a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs within China.

It has a user interface in English the Chinese application is designed to cater to the international market and is available not just for China but also around the world.

9. Food Delivery: Meituan or Sherpas

 Meituan is the biggest Chinese food delivery application in China.

It serves all the major cities and provides a variety of kinds of Chinese food, but it requires a basic understanding of Chinese.

For Beijing and Shanghai, there is an extremely popular app in English, known as Sherpas.

It is mainly delivered from Western restaurants, and a few expensive establishments Sherpas is entirely accessible in English and provides discounts to new customers.

10.Online Shopping: JD and Taobao

Taobao is China’s biggest online shopping platform. JD is smaller; however, it’s more selective in quality and provides faster shipping (usually within the same day).

There’s almost everything you need on these apps, including everyday household items, cellphones, E-bikes, and imported items.


Life in China is extremely exciting, and the same is true for life in Chinese apps.

Of the top 10 apps available in China, some apps such as WeChat or Alipay are commonly referred to as “super apps” since they provide a wide array of beneficial features that let you perform several tasks from one application instead of downloading multiple apps to suit different needs.

Although you can use your apps at home with a VPN, You’ll be able to see more than as you stay in China more likely you will switch to Chinese apps due to their efficiency and user-friendliness.

It is also recommended to learn at least a bit of Chinese before you arrive in China to allow you to become acquainted with the most popular applications in China and help you settle in more quickly.



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