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Guide to the Mobile App World in China

Views:761 Time:10/27/2018 6:04:42 PM

As the world’s largest Smartphone market, China and its mobile apps are leading the way when it comes to innovation, contrary to popular belief. Here, we list out the most popular Chinese mobile apps in different categories that you need to know.



The power of this app lies in its multifunctionality; Weixin is the combination of Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Paypal, Shazam, Viber and Uber. It therefore is the essential app for everyday life.


QQ has been in the life of every Chinese for quite a while, it may be the most recognizable Chinese internet brand.

Mobile Payment


Alipay is the leading third-party payment platform in China. It’s similar to Paypal, but Alipay is packed with more features. You can use Alipay to transfer money, pay utility bills, even buy a bus ticket.

WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay is used by just about everyone in China, from fancy restaurants and high-end designer boutiques down to street vendors, taxi drivers, and even panhandlers.

Food Delivery


Dianping is the leading O2O sharing platform about daily life services in China. The app provides all services needed in the neighborhood, including online restaurant reservation, shop reviews, food ordering, movie tickets discount, and more.

Eleme, which means in Chinese “Hungry?”, was the first O2O food delivery platform launched in China and is now the leader in the food delivery market.

Maps & Navigation


Didi Chuxing is a mobile transportation platform, offering a full range of commuting options to 400 cities in China.

Baidu Maps

Baidu Maps offering satellite imagery, street maps, street view and indoor view perspectives, as well as functions such as a route planner for traveling by foot, car, or with public transportation.

Social Entertainment


TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a social media app for creating and sharing videos as well as live broadcasting. It is a leading short video platform in Asia, and becoming one of the fastest-growing apps with a large community across several countries for short music videos.


Weibo stands for the Chinese Twitter, many celebrities, influential figures and organizations, use it to get more followers, to promote themselves and chat directly with their fans and followers. There are even some government offices posting official notices with their Sina Weibo accounts.


Zhihu is a Q&A community which is very similar to Quora. Users may raise or answer different questions about many different topics. Whether they are funny, informative, instructive, these topics are very diversified.

Online Shopping


Taobao is the top and largest online shopping platform in China, comparable to Ebay or Amazon.


As China' s largest ecommerce platform by revenue, Joybuy also known as Jingdong offers a world-class set of online retail services to its legion of users, who now number close to 200 million in total.

Video Player


Youku is the biggest online video media source and considered as Youtube’s counterpart in China. Though it’s slowly losing to Tencent Video, Youku still has millions of viewers.

Tencent Video

Tencent Video is a popular video sharing platform and is equivalent to Youtube. It’s also HBO’s exclusive partner in China.


Kugou Music

KuGou, meaning Cool Dog, made its way to the top of the chart by appealing to a very wide audience.

Kuwo Music

KuWo is another app with a heavy focus on KTV streaming; the app even hosts KTV tournaments with cash rewards. Besides KTV streaming, it also serves as a video streaming platform and broadcasts video content, usually on the more trashy side.


UC Browser

UC Browser is the top internet browser of choice for Chinese mobile users. The UC Browser is similar to Apple's Safari.

QQ Browser

QQ browser is the rival of UC browser and the second most popular mobile browser. Like UC browser, it also has an easy to use interface.


Sogou Pinyin Method

Sogou Pinyin is a dominant input software in China. By July 2011, Sogou Pinyin had an 83.6% penetration rate with more than 300 million users.

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