Being a technology enthusiast who relies on a smartphone daily, I anticipation that I will get absent on a contempo cruise to China after Google Maps. But the abridgement of Google casework in the country is alone bisected the botheration now for adopted visitors: China additionally afresh banned VPN and affected App Abundance China to aish VPN applications.
The acceptable account is, things aren’t as alarming as they seem. If you analysis solutions afore your trip, you’ll survive aloof fine. And to save you some work, actuality are a few acquaint from my own acquaintance abyssal Beijing and Shanghai with the advice of a smartphone. (Neither I nor the aggregation I assignment for has any amalgamation with any of the apps mentioned here.)
Did you apperceive you cannot save maps of China for offline use in Google Maps? Neither did I. My Plan A failed; it was time for a Plan B. After some analysis I came beyond OsmAnd maps. They action offline maps and navigation, as able-bodied as a agglomeration of added appearance I didn’t use. OsmAnd served me able-bodied and I never had to attending for a advancement map.
If you allege a bit of Chinese, you can additionally booty advantage of Baidu maps (iOS, Android). These action a absurd aeronautics interface in a anatomy of AR. Unfortunately, the maps are absolutely in Chinese, so I alone had a adventitious to beam my aide appliance the app to cross us altogether to a backward night party.
Both the Beijing and Shanghai busline curve are accessible to navigate, as they accommodate maps, avenue maps, signs in pinyin (Chinese accounting in the Roman alphabet), and consistently account the administration trains are going. Still apps can accomplish the assignment abundant simpler. After aggravating about 10 apps for anniversary burghal on the App Store, I fabricated a final choice. For Beijing, Beijing Subway 北京地铁 by TSP Holdings (iOS, Android) formed best; and for Shanghai, Shanghai Busline 上海地铁, additionally by TSP Holdings (iOS, Android). I never had a adventitious to try the Android versions of these, so while autograph this post, I asked my acquaintance to download both to her Motorola G4 Plus with Android 7.0. The app for Beijing never opened and crashed, she said. So Android users, install these apps at your own risk.
TSP Holdings’ Beijing Subway 北京地铁 app for iPhone
Fortunately, SkyScanner and all added flight chase applications assignment abundant for award bounded flights in China, but let’s allocution about trains. Dreaming of activity from Beijing to Shanghai on a super-fast alternation (350 km/h), I begin out about Ctrip, which served as my aperture to the Chinese alternation admission system.
Ctrip’s app for iPhone
Keep in apperception that all tickets bought through Ctrip accept to be exchanged for absolute tickets at the railway station. And it’s bigger to access aboriginal as the chain is absolutely long.
It’s accurate that abounding Chinese don’t apperceive a distinct babble of English. But the best important affair I abstruse in China is that duke accent is a thing. Appetite to buy a mango and get it cut for you, and additionally you charge a fork? Aloof mime it out with your hands. Turns out you don’t absolutely charge a distinct babble to order. Same works for affairs a pre-paid SIM agenda with a 4G abstracts plan at a ChinaMobile store.
Still, sometimes you charge to accept a allusive conversation. My aboriginal allotment of advice: If you’re in China for business, e.g. a tradeshow or a conference, you absolutely charge to go with a being who speaks Chinese. From my acquaintance (I went to GMIC Beijing for my company, adaptable announcement belvedere Clickky), best Chinese companies accept no added than one English apostle at the event. So brainstorm you bead by an exhibition berth and appetite to apprentice added about the adviser and their articles but the English apostle is already affianced in a altercation with addition else. It happened absolutely generally to me.
Some companies don’t accept English speakers at all. Here’s my additional allotment advice: Don’t belittle the ability of articulation acceptance technologies. At the aboideau to Beijing Olympic Park, I approved to get admonition from a guard. He anon launched a articulation acceptance translator on his smartphone. The aing day at GMIC Beijing, I begin out about addition adaptation app alleged Fanyi Guan (翻译官) fabricated by Chinese web behemothic YouDao (Android, iOS). The interface is abominably in Chinese, but pictograms adviser you aloof fine. Still, I’ve got a acknowledgment to accomplish — I apperceive some basal Chinese, and it’s easier to use the app if you can at atomic analyze two words: 中文 (Chinese) and 英文 (English).
The YouDao app additionally supports beheld acceptance in case you don’t apperceive the name of the article you’re attractive to translate.
The best accepted Chinese messenger, WeChat (iOS, Android), offers a congenital babble adaptation feature, which is absolutely convenient.
Chinese bodies you accommodated will appetite you to add them on WeChat for about no reason. Big companies will let you participate in giveaways at tradeshows alone if you subscribe to their approach on WeChat or QQ — another accepted messenger. I begin WeChat to be absolutely user friendly, while QQ is acutely confusing. WeChat additionally comes in accessible back you charge to affix with non-Chinese accompany who are additionally in China. The VPN abortion agency you can’t await on befitting in blow with addition appliance Facebook Messenger; it’s bigger to about-face your conversations to WeChat.
While bodies with Chinese App Abundance IDs now cannot download VPN apps, as a greenhorn you are able to assurance in to your bounded store. It’s bigger to booty affliction of this at home in advance. For my adventure I approved an appliance called Seed4Me that offers an continued balloon aeon for adaptable users, and it bootless me alone already (when I approved to set a affair atom with accompany with Facebook Messenger). Surely, there are bags of others today, including HideMyAss, ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, StarVPN, etc.
All in all, “The Abundant Firewall of China” shouldn’t stop anyone from visiting this country. You’ll be afraid how abundant China has to action and how rapidly it is developing, no amount what.
Note: All opinions bidding actuality are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my company.
Galyna Divakova is CMO at adaptable announcement belvedere Clickky.
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