If you’re looking for a place to host your next family reunion or friends’ gathering, Chinese people will inevitably scroll through the reviews on an app before they make a final decision. Dianping and Koubei are the top two apps used for restaurants and bars; however, you can find other types of businesses such as salons, training centers and clothing stores as well.
Both Dianping and Koubei provide crowd-sourced guides and reviews of local businesses with a similar orange-colored interface. On Dianping and Koubei, users can browse listings to learn about businesses’ addresses, opening and closing hours, prices and overall reputation. You can also leave a review by writing about your experiences and rating the business out of five stars.
Merged with Meituan in 2015, Dianping has benefited from its huge user base; according to research in 2019, the number of active users reached 450 million and active businesses are around 6.2 million. Conveniently, you can order takeout from Dianping while browsing through reviews or recommended dishes of the restaurant.
One of Dianping’s unique functions is the ongoing lucky draw campaign called “Dine and Dash,” which is limited to Dianping’s VIP users. Winners can enjoy a free meal or service as their lucky draw prize offered by different businesses. To become a VIP, you need to be a registered member for more than three months and have posted a certain number of reviews that are legitimate and helpful for others.
Koubei joined the Alibaba ecosystem in 2015 and is bundled with E Le Me, Alibaba’s trending takeout app. With more than 2.5 million active businesses on the platform, Koubei is on the rise to competing against Dianping with very similar functions. The available coupons for new users have become its main attraction. You can download Koubei from the app store or access it from Alipay.