6. Buying anything you could possibly want: Taobao (淘宝)

Image credit: TechNode

The king of shopping in China, its majesty Taobao, offers everything from fully functional airplanes to temporary boyfriends. One awesome feature Taobao offers is image search. Just take a photo of the product you want, upload it on the app and give a snarky laugh to the lady at the market who wanted to sell you the same item for a triple price.

While Taobao mostly connects resellers and customers, it’s sister site Tmall hosts brand’s official online stores which is why it is a better solution for searching authentic products. For quality electronics, check out JD’s app.

English friendly alternative: Baopals website

On Apple

On Android

7. Travelling: Ctrip / Qunar (去哪儿)

China has so many great places to visit, your bucket list is likely to continually expand. To help you find the best prices for train and plane tickets both for China and abroad, check out Ctrip and Qunar. The apps are practically identical which could be explained by the fact that the two companies are actually partners. Both of them work with Airbnb’s biggest rival in China Tujia.

Thanks to its flight tracking feature Fliggy (飞猪) is a great app for frequent travelers which are far too familiar with China’s infamous plane delays.

Available in English: Yes for Qunar, Ctrip only the website

On Apple: Ctrip, Qunar

On Android: Ctrip, Qunar

8. Finding new restaurants: Dazhong Dianping (大众点评)

This hair salon in Shanghai run by post-90 generation went viral on Dazhong Dianping (Image Credit: TechNode)

Not a big fan of food poisoning? Neither are we which is why Dazhong Dianping, the largest restaurant review app in China, comes in handy. This Chinese version of Yelp also offers user-generated reviews of beauty salons, gyms, VR arcades, and more. Many businesses offer online reservations and even coupons and vouchers for discounts. Some of them even become viral through the app.

Not available in English

On Apple

On Android

9. Finding events: Huodongxing (活动行)

With 800,000 events and around 4 million tickets sold last year, Huodongxing is the largest ticketing platform in China. The Eventbrite-like platform focuses on professional and networking events, including big conferences.

For live music, theatre, and entertainment check out Showstart (秀动) and for movies, there is Gewara (格瓦拉) which for some reason found it appropriate to brand itself with a cutesy mascot of Che Guevarra.

English friendly alternative: WeChat subscription accounts such as Networking Matters.

On Apple

On Android

10. Finding a home: Ziroom (自如)

Image credit: Ziroom

Apartment hunting in China’s crowded cities can be a somewhat traumatic experience. As PTSD prevention, Ziroom offers long-term serviced apartments that are becoming increasingly popular among young professionals. Unlike most agencies, Ziroom offers monthly rent payments and bill payment directly through the app. A Ziroom apartment could be the answer to your woes. Unless you find a dead body in it.

Another option is 58 Home (58同城) which is a classical apartment listing app.

Not available in English

On Apple

On Android

Go to the next page for more indispensable apps!

Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.

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