If there’s one APP that you can’t live without in China, it’s WeChat!
What is WeChat?
In a few words,WeChat provides text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, video conferencing, video games, mobile payment, sharing of photographs and videos, location sharing and mini programs (sort of APP within the WeChat ecosystem).
WeChat is available in 20 languages.
Sign up for WeChat when you are in China, not before!
When you sign up for WeChat, you must link a mobile number. According to the type of mobile number that you use to sign up, you will be a Weixin user if you use Chinese Mainland mobile numbers or a WeChat user if you use non-Chinese Mainland mobile numbers. If you do not have a Chinese Mainland mobile yet, then do not sign up with non-Chinese Mainland mobile number except if you plan to be in China more than 180 days after you have created your account.
The main reason is that switching between WeChat and Weixin is restricted during the first 180 days after account registration.
Another reason is that you must be a Weixin user in order to use WeChat payment. If you are a WeChat user, you will have to wait 180 days before using Wechat payment in order to switch to Weixin.
Finally, during the process of signing up for WeChat it is easier if you are physically in China because you will require a Weixin user to scan the QR code on the screen using his/her WeChat account. If there is no Weixin users near you to scan the code, there is another solution that is slightly more complicated and not all users can help you. The user must have signed up for WeChat over 6 months ago and can only help a new user once in the last month.