7 Great China Apps for Expats

Dec 18, 2014

Before we arrive to a new country like China, off on a new adventure, there are probably many places we want to explore. If you want to avoid the hassle of guide books, maps and dictionary, mobile apps are the best way to explore a city.

1) Pleco – Available for Apple and Android devices!

Whether you are coming to China just for the holidays or long term, Pleco is a must-have mobile app. Since many Chinese still don’t speak English, Pleco can be a lifesaver when you yet again order fried pig intestines instead of the marinated tofu dish you wanted.

Pleco is one of the best English-Chinese translator apps that can help you learn, improve your chinese or at least get by with your daily life in China. The translation from English to Chinese includes the Chinese Pinyin, the traditional and simplified characters, as well as an audio pronunciation. A great feature that Pleco has is that you can take pictures of Chinese characters and it will be able to indentify them and translate them for you in English in real-time!

2) City Fu

This app helps you find out about all the best places to go out, see, eat, shop and drink, as well as to get updates on the latest events. City Fu is one of the most useful apps for getting around Shanghai. The app was developed by City Weekend and contains a comprehensive database of over 13.000 venue listings in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. City Fu can be used offline and is regularly updated with the latest information. It includes maps, venues, addresses, contact lists and readers reviews.

3) Shanghai Taxi Guide

You might not know this yet, but public transportation in Shanghai stops working at 11 pm (some subway lines close even earlier). This app can be your savior! Hailing a cab on a rainy Saturday night can be tough, but this hassle-free app makes catching a taxi a piece of cake. You can even check the fare before you order a taxi, and locate the taxi in real-time so you know its ETA. Best thing about this app, it’s in English.

4) WeChat

WeChat is quickly becoming the most popular social media/insta-messaging app in China (and gaining ground in the rest of the world). Like every other insta-messaging app you can send free messages, pictures, emoticons, links and more. But what stands out in WeChat is that you can share your moments via the social media platform and also meet new people by using the ‘drift a bottle’ or ‘search the area’ options. Moreover, I find it very easy to add contacts and it makes it easier for people to get each others’ contact information as you just need to scan their QR code, add their username or use ‘shake’ your phones at the same time.

5) China Trains

As you probably know by now, travelling around China by train is very cheap and convenient (unless you’re taking an overnight standing train of course). If you are planning to travel around China by train, this is a very useful app to have. You can often check the trains’ schedule sorted by your destination/arrival, check the fares and the trains’ number and station for the next 20 days.  

6) Indulge Smart

The Best App to discover the best local restaurants in your area sorted by cuisine, location and price. Reviews are constantly updated. What’s more, you can get great deals and huge discounts through this app.

7) Uber

Similar to the Taxi App, but a more upscale option. All the payments are processed online so you don’t have to deal with any payments when you reach your destination. Click here for a free ride!

By Christina Ng, Marketing at Teaching Nomad

About our company: Teaching Nomad is an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Our goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, we have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, we have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online at www.teachingnomad.com/job-search for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad is here to make teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or inquiries!


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