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Beijing Foreign Studies University
39.95249619, 116.30249879
Topic Helpful Apps

I experienced my life in Beijing very dependent on my smartphone. Because of that I would like to list some Apps which are helpful in dail life.

WeChat was one of the most important Apps during my stay in Beijing. It is useful for a lot of things.


You can connect it with your bank account and pay in shops or even at small stalls on the street via this App. You can transfer money to friends and split bills in restaurants by using WeChat. In my opinion it is very convenient. If you pay by cash you should be aware, that there is circulating false money in Beijing


WeChat is also the most common App in Beijing and other places in China I have visited, to stay in contact with friends and teachers. The function for sending messages to different people is a lot like WhatsApp. WhatsApp is banned in China, so you can just use it by using a Virtual Private Network.

Class organization:

In Germany I am used to communicate via E-Mail or Online portals with my teachers. But at BFSU, WeChat was the most common channel for communication. We had a WeChat group for each class. PowerPoint slides and important information were all sent via WeChat.

Travel and other:

WeChat is also used for many other things. You can book flights, hotels and trains, which is often cheaper than booking it on a different Website. It can also be used to order taxis, rent bikes, book movie tickets etc.
It can also help you a lot in engaging at BFSU and in Beijing. There are several groups you can join, to find events, happening in Beijing or to find a language partner. Other groups you can join in the App, offer short trips around Beijing or longer travels.




In Beijing many people do not own a bike but rent them to reach their destination. There are different companies, which provide the service of shared bikes. The bikes which are used most are yellow bikes, which are offered by “Ofo”. They do not have central spots where you can rent and return them, but they can be found all around the city, standing next to the street. The App shows you where you can find a bike close to you. By scanning a QR-code, you can unlock a bike, use it and just lock it again when you do not want to use it any more, no matter where you are. In the App you press a button to tell that you finished your travel and you pay by using your phone. The costs are about one yuan per kilometer. It is not allowed to use shared bikes on campus at BFSU.
The following website shows how to use “Ofo” and “Mobike”, which offeres shared bikes too: https://www.careerchina.com/blog/bike-sharing-in-china



Didi is the App which is used most for ordering taxis. It has an English version which is very convenient if you do not know Chinese. Didi is connected to WeChat. If you order a taxi via Didi, you can see how long you need to wait for it and what ratings your driver got from previous clients. The following website explains how to use Didi: https://www.careerchina.com/blog/how-to-get-taxi-in-china-in-english-didi-app



As Google is banned in China, you can use Goolge Maps just by using a Virtual Private Network. Anyway the information in Google Maps are often not up to date like bus lines or arriving times of public transport. Because of that I suggest you to download Amaps. It is just possible to use it in Chinese language, but you can often copy the Chinese name of places on the internet and copy it to the App. After using it for a while I got used to it, even if I did not now Chinese before going to Beijing.


Explore Beijing subway map:

I often used this App to have a look, how to reach a certain place by subway. It shows an overview of all subway lines in Beijing, and the arriving and depature times. You can have a look for certain routes or have a look at only one line at a time. You can also get tips from other users abou the surrounding of the subway stations. For example if there is a good restaurant close to the it.



I experienced, that many people in Beijing order food to their places. Eleme is one of the Apps, you can order food with. It is all in Chinese, but handling it is very intuitive in my opinion.



This App is similar to Groupon, (if that is a common App to you). You can book activities via that App e.g. visits for the cinema, climbing etc. and get a discount by booking it via Dianping.


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