PassingBy is an app for you to share messages or pictures with people passing by and interact with them. It sounds simple but can help you on various occasions; for instance, it can broadcast a  message for you to people in a library to ask them if anyone can help find a book.

Of course you can chat with people around you, comment on their broadcasts, or arrange meetups with some of them.

PassingBy designed a mechanism that you’d not find yourself interacting with people you don’t want to, for you should send connection requests anonymously before it connects the two sides who are both interested. To avoid engaging people you are not meant to, you can set a range limit for broadcasts. You also have an option to hide yourself from everyone.


The tech industry have been exploring location-based social space. Foursquare coined the new concept of Check-in. It didn’t grow that fast as expected — as it was once expected to be the next big thing after Facebook and Twitter –that it has 40 million users around the world. In China, the most populous country on earth, Jiepang, one of the biggest Foursquare-like services, only has some 5 million registered users as of July 2013 and pivoted. One major problem with Jiepang is users don’t feel incentivated to check-in.

But location-based chatting/interacting apps perform well in China. Momo is such an app that  announced 80 million registered users over two years after the launch and  began generating earlier this year. But Momo has decided to shift focus from connecting strangers to having more users stay so that it can build a long-term relationship with them and eventually make money from them.

Sami Quraishy, founder of PassingBy, believes the app can work well at least in Singapore where he is based. After several months his one-man team has put into it — he outsourced the development work to a team in Dubai, the app now is available in Apple App Store and Google Play.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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