China's Mobile Revolution: Apps with Chinese Characteristics

By THAT'S, October 1, 2015

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In the June Issue of That's Shanghai and That's PRD, we've looked at how cellphone culture has taken over China. In the fourth of this five-part series, we look at China's most popular apps. Read about social commerce here, modern mobile phone culture here, a history of mobile phones here and an infographic on apps here.

Fotoplace App

足记 (Zu Ji), Fotoplace

A creative app that reveals stories of places you pass by. Users can take a photo and add their own subtitles, or make photomontages as a comparison of past and present. Basically Instagram, but better. 

SideChef App

晒厨易 (Shai Chu Yi), SideChef

Hailing from California – though its founder, Kevin Yu, is Chinese-American – SideChef is a social cooking app that’s proved hugely popular in China, where it launched only last April. It teaches users how to cook in a step-by-step manner, demonstrating every move of a recipe as well as the list of ingredients with pictures and videos. 

Ming Xing Yi Chu App

明星衣橱 (Ming Xing Yi Chu)

A fashion app that shows you what celebrities, fashion bloggers and ‘It girls’ are wearing. Users click on the photo of a star whose look they like – say Emma Watson for instance – and 明星衣橱 helps them find the same (or similar) garment on e-commerce sites it partners with. Easy to wear, easy to get.

Dou Pai

逗拍 (Dou Pai)

Make your own GIF or customized short video by embedding yours or others’ images in the templates offered by this app – which spans funny faces, quirky scenarios and pretty hilarious dances. Because there’s a meme for every occasion, really. 

Zhi Fu Bao

支付宝 (Zhi Fu Bao)

Zhi Fu Bao is probably the most convenient app ever. It does money transfers (goodbye banks), it can be used to purchase tea eggs and the like in Family Mart (adieu cash) or to pay for water/electricity bills, movie/train/air tickets and top up phone cards. It’s like the tech version of the Holy Grail. Seriously.  

By Marianna Cerini, Tongfei Zhang and Zoey Zha

Read more in this series

• How social networks are driving commerce  
• How cell phones are revolutionizing China  
• 15 years in phones  
• INFOGRAPHIC: China's Mobile Revolution

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