Most 10 Popular Chinese Social Media Apps Must Try

People around the world are used to logging in to their social platforms on the daily basis. Chinese are no different. However, due to the different political systems, China has strict censorship on the internet that almost all western forms of social medial are banned. So, if you are not familiar with Chinese culture, it is not your fault since you do not have a chance to register as a user of any Chinese social media platform. 

So how do the Chinese develop their social life on the internet? How would you become a part of this network?

I want to write about this topic is because many of my friends said to me that they saw me sending multimedia messages with gifs, emojis and voice notes through Chinese app, while they still send black and white text messages. Then I just directly introduced them to some Chinese media platforms that I used which are interesting, popular, and fun to play with as well as offering them a great convenient opportunity to learn Chinese.  

So, this article will give a brief introduction of the top 10 popular social media platforms in China and how to make an account on one of these platforms. These networks are the most basic ones that help you to improve reading skills, make Chinese friends, understand modern Chinese culture, and enjoy a better life in China.

1: Tencent QQ | 腾讯QQ (Téngxùn QQ) 

Tencent QQ was launched by Tencent in 1999, and its average daily active users reached 170 million in 2017. Its traditional functions are text, voice, video chat, and release status on QQ space. Now it includes online games, file sharing, cloud hard drives, mailboxes, forums, and other integrated services.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

How to use QQ?

Step 1: Download QQ

You can download the application from the App store. 

(You can directly download it from your app store without changing to the Chinese store). 

Step 2: Open the QQ

When opening the QQ app, you’ll notice that it’s in Chinese and can’t be translated to English. Don’t worry, with our help, you can smoothly cross the language barrier. 

The first thing you need to do is accept the service agreement by clicking on the option in the right-hand corner of the pop-up window, pictured below: 

qq app

Step 3: Start the registration process 

Click on the “Register” option on the home screen. It’s the option to the left in the white square! 

qq registration

Step 4: Enter your mobile number 

At this stage, you’ll need to confirm your mobile number so that QQ can verify your account. 

Enter it into the field below, choose your country code from the drop-down menu, tick the confirmation box, and click “OK”. 

qq set up mobile number

Top tip: If you’re finding it difficult to choose your country code because of the Chinese interface, head over to Google translate and translate your country’s name into simplified Chinese. Copy the translation, and then paste it into the country code search bar. You’ll then be left with the relevant country code to select.  

Step 5: Complete the authentication process

Simply slide the puzzle piece into place using your touchscreen. 

qq account authentication

Step 6: Confirm your mobile number 

In the pop-up window, click the option in the blue box to confirm your mobile number. 

Step 7: Enter the verification code sent to your mobile device

Once you’ve confirmed your number, you’ll then be sent a text containing a one-time passcode. Enter this in the field below: 

qq account verification
  1. Step 8: Choose a username and password 

Finally, create your username and password by typing them into the fields below. The username goes first, then the password in the space underneath.  Then, click “Register” (the outlined box) and your QQ account will be ready to use.

qq username registration

How to create a QQ account in English via the QQ website 

If you’d rather sign up for QQ using your computer, that’s fine, too. It’s much easier, as the desktop interface is available in English. Hooray!

Here’s what you need to do:

Go to QQ’s desktop registration page and simply sign up for QQ and enjoy your journey.

Remember: simply start the process to register a Chinese social media platform, you have already learned many new Chinese.

I have used Tencent QQ as an example, now try to register the rest 9 apps and practice the Chinese you learned above. 

If you just want a list of helpful social media vocabulary, go ahead and scroll to the bottom!

2: WeChat | 微信 (Wēixìn) 

WeChat was launched by Tencent in 2011. Currently, it is the social media platform with the largest number of users. Its core functions are three social applications based on acquaintances, including instant messaging, Moments of Friends, and We-Media.

With the development of mobile communications and the Internet, WeChat now has developed into an interactive platform that integrates social networking, shopping, payment, games, reading, entertainment, sports, financial management, and so on. It is the app you will use if you live in urban China.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

3: Sina Weibo | 新浪微博 (Xīnlàng Wēibó)

Weibo, launched in 2009, is often called the “Chinese Twitter”. It is a platform for microblogging where users can network with friends, keep up to date with the news, connect with celebrities and influencers, and research brands and products.

Weibo users can share text, images, videos, and live streams. Messages just need to fit within the 140-character limit. It is a great app for you to understand what people are interested in China.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

4: DouYin | 抖音 (Dǒuyīn)

Douyin is a platform for short videos that have had about 600 million daily active users in 2021. Douyin is a lot like TikTok, and both apps are owned and developed by the same company, ByteDance.

TikTok users will recognize Douyin’s interface. Like TikTok, Douyin is a platform for videos that are 15 or 60 seconds long. Users can create, edit, and share videos and live streams. Just spruce up your videos with some music and filters, and your video is ready for sharing with your friends.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

5: Zhihu | 知乎 (zhī hū)

When you have a question, most people turn to their friends or search on Google. However, millions of people in China turn to Zhihu. “Zhihu” is a classical Chinese, which translates literally to “Do you know?” It is a comprehensive Chinese Q&A platform where questions are posted, answered, liked, and shared by its community of users.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

6: Honor of Kings | 王者荣耀 (wáng zhě róng yào)

If you like playing games, and you want to know the younger culture and young people, I would like to introduce this game to you, so that you can make new friends and learn Chinese while playing games. 

The honor of Kings is a multiplayer online battle arena. Since it is released in 2015, it has become the hottest MOBA game in mainland China. An international adaptation, titled Arena of Valor, was released in October 2016; it utilizes the same game engine and UI design but with greatly altered heroes to accommodate the Western market. By 2017, Honor of Kings had over 80 million daily active players and 200 million monthly active players and was among the world’s most popular and one of the highest-grossing games of all time as well as the most downloaded app globally. In the break between each game, it has created a social platform for team players to communicate with each other on topics such as game rules, roles, strategy, etc., and also become a natural gathering place for the new young generations.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

7: Red | 小红书 (xiǎo hóng shū)

Xiaohongshu literally means “Little Red Book”.

This is a really interesting platform that seems to combine “Pinterest and Amazon” together.

Highly recommend checking out this really unique platform. Just so that you know, it is definitely targeted towards female users (and 88% of its user base is female).

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

8:Bilibili | 哔哩哔哩 (bīlībīlī) 

Bilibili nicknamed B Site (B站) in China, is a Chinese video-sharing website, themed around animation, comics, and games (ACG), where users can submit, view, and add overlaid commentary on videos. Bilibili uses Adobe Flash or HTML5 player, to play user-submitted videos hosted by either itself or third-party sources, featuring a scrolling “bullet curtain” 弹幕(dàn mù) commenting system. 

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

9: Meituan | 美团 (Mĕituán)  

Meituan is a Chinese shopping platform for locally found consumer products and retail services including entertainment, dining, delivery, travel, and other services. It offers deals of the day by selling vouchers on local services and entertainment. In 2015, Meituan merged with Dazhong Dianping and changed its name to “Meituan-Dianping”. dianping.com (大众点评网 Dàzhòng diǎnpíng wǎng, literally “public reviews net”) hosts consumer reviews of restaurants, similar to Yelp and TripAdvisor, and also offers group buying similar to Groupon. Meituan then becomes one of the world’s largest online and on-demand delivery platforms. It is a platform you should not miss if you live in China.

美团-干啥都省钱dans l'App Store

10: Tou tiao | 今日头条 (Jīn rì tou tiáo) 

Toutiao is a news distribution app that focuses on providing all kinds of information using complex algorithms. The AI will first analyze each user regarding their locations, click, and browser history. Toutiao then recommends the best-fit articles and videos to users accordingly.

Toutiao adopts a different style of giving the news to people. Additionally, they provide short videos, funny jokes, and featured articles to keep users entertained. 

Conclusion 

All the above 10 social media platforms will be beneficial for you to study Chinese no matter which level you are at.

  • You can practice in small chunks, writing perhaps a sentence now and then. This means that you don’t have to amass the courage needed to write a blog post or an article, which is difficult for most people. It allows you to take baby steps and still come a long way. (E.g. Posts on Sina Weibo are limited to 140 characters.)
  • You can see spoken Chinese in a written form. Most people use fairly colloquial language when they chat online. This is a veritable gold mine of useful phrases! On Zhi hu, read what the Chinese are talking about among themselves, and try to pick up some useful words and phrases. I can promise that even if you’re an advanced student, you will still find much you didn’t know.
  • You can use Chinese in a relaxed environment with more time available. If you’re using Chinese with someone you don’t feel very confident with, or if you haven’t studied for a long time, you’re likely to make lots of mistakes simply because talking has to occur at a certain pace to be interesting. If you chat online, you have time to think things through a bit more carefully. This will later help you increase fluency when you talk.

These 10 social media platforms cover almost all aspects of your daily life. You can finally learn Chinese and live like a Chinese in China.

Below are my little bonus gift for you. This table includes the most useful vocabularies to know in Chinese social media.

注册Zhù cè to register
登入Dēng rùto login
取关Qǔ guānto unfollow (on social media)
追踪Zhuī zōngto follow
油管Yóu guǎnYouTube
推特Tuī tèTwitter
脸书Liǎn shūFacebook
外卖Wài màiFood delivery (Take out)
InsInsInstagram
ins风ins fēngInstagram-style
上传Shàng chuánto upload
赞助Zàn zhùto sponsor
网红产品Wǎng  hóng chǎn pǐninfluencer products
粉丝Fěn sīfan
美妆博主Měi zhuāng bó zhǔbeauty blogger
摄像头Shè xiàng tóuwebcam
数码产品Shù mǎ chǎn pǐn digital/tech goods
包裹Bāo guǒto wrap up, package, parcel
亚马逊Yà mǎ xùnAmazon
差评Chà píngnegative review
好评Hǎo píngpositive review
关键词Guān jiàn cíkeyword
关注Guān zhùto pay attention to
公众号Gong zhòng hàopublic
点赞Diǎn zànto like (a post online)
八卦Bā guà gossip
朋友圈Péng yǒu quānmoments (on wechat)
项目Xiàng mùproject
隐私设置Yǐn sī shè zhìprivacy setting
屏蔽设置Píng bì shè zhìblocking settings
收藏Shōu cángfavorite
订阅Ding yuèsubscription
微信钱包Wēi xìn qián bāoWeChat Wallet
转发Zhuǎn fāto forward
秒怕Miǎo pāiapp to record videos

5 effective ways to learn Chinese for free with 100% result

How to have fun with learning Chinese in the same way as having fast food? Fast food is many people’s favorite meal because it’s convenient and cheap. Learning Chinese can also be fun, low cost and effective at the same time.

Let’s look at 5 effective ways to learn Chinese for free with amazing results. 

Imitate native speakers

Most Chinese learners have difficulty with their Speaking skill among the 4 skills of Listening – Speaking – Reading – Writing. One effective way to practice speaking Chinese successfully, is to work hard to imitate the pronunciation and accents of native speakers.

You can try listening to news, music or watching Chinese TV series. By practicing listening to Chinese for at least 15 minutes a day and maintaining that habit, and at the same time, imitating native speakers with a standard accent, you can see great results.

Learn vocabulary by topics

When you group vocabularies into the same topic, memorizing vocabulary is guaranteed to become much simpler. This is a particularly good way for office workers. Because when you learn vocabulary according to your field of work and interest, you will maximize that vocabulary, making your conversations with colleagues or foreign partners go smoothly with a natural flow. 

To improve your Chinese at work, you can start with some common topics such as writing emails, giving presentations, meeting in Chinese, working with foreign bosses, etc.

Learn Chinese through short stories 

You will find many interesting Chinese short stories on the Internet with audio to help you practice listening. Then, summarize what you hear with different grammar structures and tenses. You can use an online tool, or ask a friend or native teacher to check your spelling and grammar. After a short time, your Chinese grammar will definitely improve.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Make friends with native speakers 

Your chances of meeting native people living in the same area as you are quite high. You can go to bars or restaurants for foreigners, join social clubs or sports activities, and find people who want to exchange languages. You can even volunteer as a guide at a tourist attraction near your home to meet Chinese speakers from all over the world. Additionally, with the growth of social media, you can reach out to others who love to practice Chinese with you on social platforms and expand your network. 

Choose the right Chinese learning method 

One of the fastest ways to learn Chinese is to use the right learning method that works well for you. If you prefer to study in a classroom environment, where you can have interaction with teachers and classmates, enrolling yourself in a community free language learning class is ideal. Nonetheless, if you have a busy schedule, you may find yourself interested in learning Chinese through online websites such as Pandanese or mobile applications.  

Hopefully, you can find one or all of the above 5 methods helpful in mastering Chinese learning. If you need specific advice on the most effective ways to learn Chinese, Pandanese is always ready to support you! Reach out to us or leave a comment below and share with us your thoughts!