Keep Up With China’s Apps

China has a rising number of apps, with WeChat and BeautyCam only scratching the surface. Find out what locals in Dongguan use to follow the latest and greatest trends online.

What’s keeping the Chinese busy on their smartphones?

Quest Mobile report in 2018 revealed that Chinese people spend an average of 289.7 minutes browsing on their cell phones a day, while the number was 18 minutes in 2005. By the end of 2018, there were 4.49 million apps available in China, among which 2.68 million were developed by Chinese companies.

Just by looking at the numbers, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out that fixating your eyes on super-apps, such as WeChat, is just the tip of an iceberg. There are tons of apps among the Chinese community devouring their time and showing their lifestyle.

Among many apps featuring short videos, Tik Tok is the one that arouses the most awareness in the expat community. However, Kuaishou, whose registered users on April 29, 2017, had reached 500 million, provides a platform for grassroots who dream of strutting a way out from the dirt ridges of a crop field in the back of the beyond. Many Kuaishou KOLs projected to fame and popularity from a crude, thinly veiled point of view.

Geng Shuai, a former welder, demonstrates a good example from his workshop in a tiny village, in Hebei Baoding. He now has almost 2 million followers on Kuaishou as a new kind of social media star for making quirky, useless inventions such as an earthquake-proof noodle bowl and a tennis racket-size watermelon-slicer. If you browse nearby people on Kuaishou, you can easily see young workers broadcasting their daily trivial life working on an assembly line in an established factory in Dongguan.

It may not be the most original app, but Keep had successfully gathered more than 100 million fitness freaks by the end of 2018.

You can keep track of your exercise, jogging, yoga, aerobics, high-intensity training and so much more. Most of the videos are free with clear explanations on intensity, complexity and health risks. If you prefer a tailored plan to fulfill your goals, you can subscribe at a mere 19 RMB per month. A plan with different programs and schedules will be generated based on a physical test remotely done beforehand to help you either lose weight or build muscles.

Keep’s online shop and online community is where Keepers share the progress they have made. Just click the last tab on the menu to connect to people in your city. You will see a map of Dongguan where people have mapped their progress on running trails and fitness paths that you can also try.

A detailed instruction video from your private coach will break down the movements and point out common mistakes. Keep has hired celebrities to make special training videos for an extra cost to the subscriber. Isn’t it nice to start the day learning how to box with Shiming Zou, boxing champion in the 2012 London Olympics?

Tim Cook of Apple visited Keep’s office in Shanghai in 2017 and expressed his desire to become a Keeper. Now an international version has been launched for you to keep up with your Chinese friends!

“To highlight your life” is Little Red Book app’s slogan. The number of users of this app reached 200 million at the end of January 2019.

Compared to its western counterpart, Yelp, Little Red Book is much less commercial, with a strong community orientation. People can share their lifestyles by covering any aspect of life they can think of from skincare, beauty and makeup, to food, clothes, travel, learning Chinese, photography and more. Sometimes you’ve got to ask certain users for the name and address of the shop you are curious about because it is user-based rather than business-driven. With a hashtag, you can easily connect to other users who have similar interests. You can follow several Dongguan local Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs): Doudou for fashion or Feimei for dine and drink.

The dummy-friendly editing tools enable not only KOLs to produce high-quality content but ordinary users like you and me. You only need to follow a few guided steps to make your content attractive in Little Red Book style.