Apps, Apps and….

Apps, apps, and…. more apps!

The Chinese mobile phone market is saturated with apps, just like anywhere else. Startups such as didi, a taxi up, and numerous apps to order in food are growing exponentially.

Paying bills via social media accounts is another growing trend. Wechat is China’s biggest social media app, used by some  1.1 billion active accounts, 818 million monthly users, and 570 daily users. I’m one of them.

Wechat is like a mix between Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Pinterest all rolled into one fabulous app. You can text, leave audio messages and even video call your friends via Wechat. You can post – like Facebook – pictures and comments, and leave happy faces and comments on your friend’s posts.

China used to be the biggest name-card distributer in the world – at social occasions, people would ceremoniously hand out name cards. Now, people swap Wechat accounts.

Mobile banking has come to Wechat. You can even send your friends Wechat money – using a digital version of the Chinese ‘red packet’ tradition where people give each other red packets with money inside. At social gatherings and banquets, people will play a ‘red packet’ game. Instead of a physical red packet, people send each other digital ones, via Wechat.  Friends will form a Wechat group, send red packets and the first one to click on it wins the cash!

Along with Wechat money there is Alipay and together they form the biggest mobile payment system in China. Now the banks are trying to get in on the lucrative payment system, by issuing their own mobile app.  Like elsewhere, digital innovations are often ahead of laws regulating them. China however is ahead of the game – in January laws were issued to ensure that monies belonging to third parties go into a seperate account, so that the service providers, like Wechat and Alipay, arent making interest on monies belonging to others.


Stay tuned for the next post on dating  apps in China.



Wechat statistic sources:

Photo credit :

Author: Debbie

immersed in the ancient culture of china, and its constantly changing facades.... a traveller through time and space landing in suzhou of the 21st century.... australian by birth, traveller by nature, mother of a beautiful ten-year-old

12 thoughts on “Apps, Apps and….”

    1. that’s it Draco. that’s why I dont get the digital money – will not connect my bank details to phone – so easy to lose, so easy to be scammed, and theres your money gone! too hard to earn in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. I only use internet banking on my home computer. I don’t store my credit cards in my phone case. I won’t scan my cards onto a phone app.
        Technology works both ways – good and bad.


  1. Just what is the world turning into anyway? I fear what will happen if things go down, like satellites or electricity. I use few apps. Uber I used in Amsterdam. Is that your OPPO? My iPhone broke…and I DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING BACKED UP! And they say they can’t retrieve any thing…a gazillion photos lost. Bad week so far. Did you change your gravatar?


    1. im using more and more apps…. the pic is a generic pic from the net.( and source linked at end of text 🙂 hey, didnt think of using my new samsung galaxy to take a picture of my OPPO. l have the new galaxy because lots of apps you cant download properly in China —
      losing photos – hey I hear you – i have backups upon backups and they just seem to all disappear in my external hard drive. we are took linked into the digital world these days.
      no gravatar change since like a year or so! lol


  2. Informative blog, with some great posts. The reckoning is that WeChat is all that Mr. Zuckerberg wants for Facebook. Apps within an app. Western mentality and approach, including distrust in payment gateways will make this near impossible for him to achieve.


    1. Thankyou! and thanks for the blog follow, Perfectripple. Yes – the distrust with payment gateways is paramount in the West – having lost my fone three times a couple of years back I am also wary of linking my banking details to my fone. Yet it’s everywhere here. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with someone who said “we missed the credit card generation and went straight to online payments” – she’s right. Everyone in China uses wechat money or Alipay to pay everything from groceries to a cup of tea at Starbucks!


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