A number of Chinese apps are now dominating the daily lives not just of people in the mainland but also others in many parts of the world. It is no question that some of these apps, whether created in response to the national censorship of their globally used counterparts or not, are doing their part in paving the road to a more modern and innovative future.
Chinese applications like WeChat, Baidu, and iQIYI have already proven themselves to be popular at both a national and global scale. Here are seven more applications that those looking toward the future need to also watch out for:
Local Equivalent: GCash/PayMaya
Competing against WeChat Pay, Alibaba Group-owned Alipay is the world’s number one mobile payment service organization, with over 1.3 billion active users worldwide. Transactions with Alipay are most often conducted through QR payment codes, but other services that the application provides include credit card bills payment, P2P transfer, bank account management, public transportation (i.e. subway, bus, train) mobile top-ups and ticket purchases, and food delivery services, among many others.
Local Equivalent: Shopee/Lazada
Also owned by the Alibaba Group, Taobao is the world’s largest e-commerce platform, as well as the eight most visited website according to Alexa Internet rankings. It features a Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) model, allowing users to explore Taobao Marketplace, which consists of small to medium-sized businesses, and Tmall, which showcases medium to large-sized businesses. Similar to the more locally known Shopee and Lazada, Taobao also possesses social media platform features such as post-sharing and live-stream shopping for users to enjoy.
Local Equivalent: Tiktok
Douyin, better known as TikTok to its global audiences, is a Chinese video-sharing social networking platform that features short videos varying between 3 to 60 seconds in length. The Chinese application was rebranded as TikTok to markets outside of Mainland China and is considered a separate application, having no access to contents from its internationally recognized counterpart despite sharing almost identical interfaces. As of April 2020, Douyin has reported approximately 500 million active users.
Local Equivalent: Spotify
Kugou is China’s largest music streaming service, having amassed over 292 active million users as of March 2020. The application was established and owned by Tencent, which also manages the second and third-biggest music apps in the country: QQ Music and Kuwo. Known for its KTV (karaoke television) streaming function, Kugou has captured a wide range of audiences, especially those from the country’s smaller towns and cities.
Local Equivalent: Messenger + Facebook + Spotify + Shopee
Tencent QQ is the second-largest multiplatform instant messaging application in China behind WeChat, currently boasting of 659 million monthly active users and its status as the fifth most visited website in the world, as reported by Alexa Internet rankings. Beyond its messaging capabilities, users of this application also have access to news, music, videos, games, and shopping services.
Local Equivalent: Grab
DiDi is an app-based transportation platform that provides vehicles for hire. Similar to the internationally available Grab and Uber, Didi allows users access to services such as taxi-hailing, private vehicle-hailing, and ride-sharing, as well as delivery and automobile-related services. As of 2019, DiDi has over 550 million users and 31 million drivers.
Local Equivalent: Foodpanda/Grab Food + Others
Primarily known as a food delivery giant, Meituan is a Chinese online shopping platform that provides customers with a wide variety of services in dining, retail, entertainment, travel, and transportation, among others. This, along with the fact that Meituan also offers several vouchers and discounts to its users, allowed the platform to gather over 450 million annual users and 6.2 million merchants, as of May 2020.