SLAS Times 2018/2019 Fall 2018 | Page 26

Apps You Can’t Live Without in China by Drabya Rana WeChat WeChat is a crucial app for communication in China, because it is the most common app used by both locals and foreigners. Alongside its use as a messenger, some of the other uses are transportation hailing, food delivery, hotel book- ing, and more. Your WeChat account can be used to login to many other apps, and it can also be used to pay vendors and friends. WeChat pay is so popular in China that most people here prefer to pay with their phones rather than the cash in their wallets. DiDi DiDi is a Chinese transportation app that helps people call taxis and private rideshares. It is very similar to the Uber app that many people are familiar with. In fact, DiDi was built on the Uber platform. TaoBao TaoBao is an online shopping website where you can find almost anything you are looking for (lit- erally anything). It is essential because stock and availability of items is oft en limited in Shanghai, to the point where shop owners will oft en tell you to search on Tao- Bao for items they don’t have. Ziroom Ziroom is an app that helps locate serviced apartments that are becoming increasingly popular among tourists and expats. Unlike most apartment apps, Ziroom off ers a monthly rent payment service directly through the app. Ziroom markets itself as the easiest and best way to find an apartment in China. Mobike and Ofo Mobike and Ofo are popular bike rental apps. Ofo’s partnership with DiDi means that users can also look for bikes while using the DiDi app. Mobike, on the other hand, has made a similar deal with a ride hailing company called Shouqi, but the cities covered by the partnership are still limited. Food delivery in China is a tech driven indus- try with a competitive set of available apps. It also off ers supermarket delivery so you will never have to leave your home again.