Two years ago we started asking, Are Chinese still checking-in? (I can’t believe it’s been two years.)  Those hyped check-in apps, unsurprisingly, disappeared one by one. It was believed then that location check-in would be a must-have feature with almost all social services and the standalone couldn’t work out. Jiepang, to my surprise, has been holding on.

With 5 million registered accounts, no more than 500 thousand monthly active users, Jiepang managed to break even in two months last year by doing location-based campaigns or branded photo filters for brands such as Startbucks.

As a major update, Jiepang 5.0 isn’t the China’s foursqure wannabe anymore (happy to see. And foursqure itself isn’t well-positioned that user growth and monetization are concerns, like always ). It’s still a check-in service, with virtual check-in being added. Now there are 16 tags of scenarios, say, singing karaoke, for users to check into. By tapping on a tag, you can see all the check-ins, with photos or messages, by your friends in this category (see the image below). Virtual check-in is not new either, but I cannot think of any Chinese app that is doing so in this way.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com