WeChat Know-Hows for Dummies

If you have lived in china for an extended amount of time you know how to work WeChat, but those of you who are new might find this useful. Figure out how to make life easy in Dongguan with this super app.

WeChat has taken center stage and gone far beyond simple communication, from paying your bills to being used as the go-to contact regarding work and your personal life. With a new school year comes a new wave of expats, and the newbies might be surprised at what this app has to offer.

DO YOU TAKE WECHAT?
One thing that many foreigners quickly pick up on with WeChat is its usefulness when it comes to paying for itemts.

When you shop local you will not find any shops that take a bank card and fewer and fewer are taking cash, however it is a guarantee that they are equipped to accept WeChat. To be part of the wonderful world of WeChat Pay you need to link your Chinese bank card to the account. Once you have connected your account, paying your phone bill and rent is not even close to the convenient spending you will discover. However, this is a very simple way to lose track of what you are spending and, for lack of a better phrase, go broke. Keep this in mind when continuously scanning or being scanned.

WeChat Pay opens a plethora of options for online shopping and is available in an estimated 40 countries. It acts as a one-stop-shop for purchasing hotel rooms, travel tickets or just ordering food to your doorstep. To do this simply go to your WeChat wallet and scroll down to explore the options.

WHERE ARE YOU?
The English version of WeChat location sharing barely compares to the original Chinese app, which has a function that can scan the inside of a room and tell you what street you are on with a 360° street view. This puts location sharing on a whole new level and makes the English one look basic. However basic it is, location sharing through WeChat is an important part of navigating the streets of Dongguan. You can share your whereabouts with friends by pressing the “+” icon next to the keypad and selecting “Location.”

Any location that you frequent often enough be sure to save your “Favorites,” so you can show to a taxi or DiDi driver next time you want to go. To do this hold down on the location until a taskbar pops up and click “Add to Favorites.” You can categorize and store files, music, notes, chats, places and more to WeChat Cloud.

HOW ELSE CAN YOU USE IT?
If you cannot read or speak Chinese and are concerned about the communication barrier, WeChat provides translation services. Click on the “+” sign on the top right-hand corner of the screen and select the “Scan” option. On the bottom right of the “Scan” option, you will see a “Translate” icon. This can be used for translating menus, signs or any written Chinese. You can even upload a photo. You can translate conversations by pressing down on the message and selecting the “Translate” option on the popup screen.

As your friendship base grows you will undoubtedly become part of many groups, while you want to remain in most of them, the need to be alerted about every message quickly disappears. To mute the notifications click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “Mute Notifications.” There is a red dot that appears on the icon of every group to let you know you have not read the messages.

The English version of WeChat location sharing barely compares to the original Chinese app.

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