How to communicate and meet people in China?

In this era of smart people and even smarter phones life’s becoming easier. It’s easier to communicate, to get information you need, to order online, to travel.

Internet and smartphones are really making it more convenient for us. Even when we are in another country, we still can communicate with our family and know what’s happening everywhere.

So let’s see which communication apps Chinese people think are the best .

1. Communication: 

WeChatProbably most foreigners know Wechat. Well, all Chinese people know about it, all use it, all love it. To meet Chinese people around you, you can just download it, press “People nearby” and add whoever you want to talk to. It also has fun thing as “Drift bottle” where you can say or write anything you want and throw it into the sea” for somebody to find it. Maybe your destiny will find you this way, who knows?

QQ is the same as Wechat. Also loved by Chinese people.

Weibo is a blogosphere. You upload your photos, videos, talk about your feelings and whatever interest you have and share it hoping someone will care. It mostly in Chinese, but it’s a good way to improve your reading skills and know all the trending words and Internet slang.

2. Popular dating sites and apps:

People say that one of the most efficient ways to learn a language is to find somebody to practice it every day with. To find a friend or a girl/a boy of your dreams. Luckily, to find interesting people around you don’t even have to leave your room.

Let’s see the list of the dating site and apps Chinese people use most:

  1. Wechat/QQ – these apps are not exactly the dating type, they are more known as applications for communications, but nonetheless as they try to offer their customers everything in one application, it also covers meeting/dating sphere.
  2. MoMo (陌陌)-this app is mostly known as dating application. But it’s also a great opportunity to find friends, find people who share your interests and whom you can go out with, and also an opportunity to improve your Chinese, as people who use MoMo mostly talk in Chinese.
  3. Baihe (百合) – unfortunately this app is only in Chinese, but it takes dating tofa2e8907-9ec3-420b-ba41-3b8d22513184 another level: seek not only love, but also marriage. Even the picture on the site implies that this site is created to help people find each other and marry, and live happily ever after.
  4. Tantan (探探) – which is, according to eChinaCities, is China’s clone of Tinder’s. As you must have already experienced, a few sites are blocked in China, and for some reason Tinder is one of them, but do not get upset, as China suggests alternatives for the sites that are blocked.
  5. Blued (淡蓝) – some people after having seen this name might think that it’s a gay men dating site. And they will be right. China has pretty much everything, right?
  6. You can also check out the rest: Pengpeng (碰碰), Bilin (比邻), Hesha (喝啥), Qingchifan (请吃饭)

But what should the foreigners who just came to China and don’t know any Chinese but eager to communicate with Chinese people do?

Use international dating applications! Of course these applications don’t have as many Chinese people as Chinese apps do, but they have a lot of foreigners who can also be fun to hang out with, as they understand more about the experience you are going through and can give valuable advice. And as a huge plus, Chinese people who are registered there have a good English level, therefore you actually can communicate with them.

See the list of this applications and choose whichever you like most:

  1. BadooBadoo1
  2. OkCupid
  3. Zoosk
  4. MeetMe
  5. Skout
  6. eHarmony
  7. Tagged
  8. How about we…
  9. Grindr (only for homosexual)

There are people, and I personally know some of them, who are ashamed or afraid of creating a profile on such sites as they don’t consider such acquaintanceships trustworthy. To be completely honest, these people’s doubt are not groundless. There are people on these sites who are not…well, in their right minds.

But that you can say about acquaintanceships all over the world, not only about online acquaintanceships.

You should be careful when meeting other people, there is no doubt in that, no matter whether you meet them online or offline. People are different, they want different things, but is that a reason to completely give up on opportunities which online world provides us with?

Personally, I don’t think so.IfYouNever

Dating online saves time, saves people from embarrassment when you take a step toward somebody and that somebody doesn’t do the same/rejects you and the whole world is a witness to that, saves people from meeting somebody who doesn’t share their interests or have other goals, as long as people tell the truth in their profiles.

It’s a nice, convenient way to meet a lot of people. Also it provides opportunities for women to make the first step, if they wish to, without being judged by other people.

But of course, don’t forget about chances and opportunities life offline provides. Meeting people in China is much easier than in other countries, for example, in Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine etc. People in those countries aren’t usually open to meeting people on the streets, they like meeting people through friends, colleagues, as that’s the safer way.

In 2011, Research & Branding Group and Russian public opinion research center did a research, the topic was: “What is the better place to meet people?”. It was held in Russia and Ukraine.

In these two countries’ people’s opinion, the best way to meet people is through common friends. 47% of Russian people and 49% of Ukrainian people think that the second best choice is to meet people at work/university. Only 14% in both countries think that meeting people on the streets is a good option.crop380w_iStock_000020965443XSmall

It’s not that common to go shopping and get into a conversation with shop assistant, exchange phone numbers and become friends in those countries. But in China this happens everywhere.

Chinese people are always friendly and open to meeting foreigners. They are interested in learning other countries’ culture, learning languages.

And did you notice that being in a foreign country makes people from other countries more friendly to each other? Being a laowai* brings people from different countries together, because they understand each other, they know what another foreigner goes through, they can help each other and they know that they have at least something in common: experience of living in China.

The point is not whether you meet people online or offline, whether you meet Chinese or foreigners, the point is to meet them. We are all human beings and  human beings need to be with and among other human beings, right?

Shynar from Kazakhstan, studied at Beijing Language and Culture University.
Shynar Shinibekova

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