How to Communicate and Meet People in China 2024

In this era of smart people and even smarter phones, communicating with people across cultural and language barriers has never been easier. Despite borders, we can easily use just a few apps to communicate with old friends and make new ones.

What communication apps are the most popular in China to meet people? Here are the top apps that you need to make and keep Chinese friends, dates, coworkers, and more!

1. Communication Apps

Probably most foreigners know WeChat. Well, all Chinese people know about it, all use it, and all love it! This is the number-one most used communications app in China, and it is essential. To meet Chinese people around you, you can just download it and add whoever you want to talk to. Maybe your destiny will find you this way, who knows?

If you just downloaded WeChat and don’t know where to start, click here to join a China Admissions WeChat group! We will help get you connected to Chinese language and culture, other students, and share opportunities for you.

Weibo is known as the “Chinese Twitter,” but it is also kind of like a blog site. You upload your photos, videos, talk about your feelings and whatever interest you have and share it. You can also follow news sites, celebrities, and meme pages. It is mostly in Chinese, but it’s a good way to improve your reading skills and know all the trending words and Internet slang.

 

Meet people in China

2. Popular Chinese 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. Dating apps aren’t just for finding a lover these days–many foreigners use them to find language partners as well. 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 the meeting/dating sphere.
  2. Soul (Soul) This app is mostly geared towards younger daters. It is unique for having its users take a personality test at the beginning. Users can choose to go on a voice date, a video date, a location-based date, or a text chat date. The matches are all recommended by the system based on the results of the personality test.
  3. MoMo (陌陌)This app is mostly known as a 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.
  4. Baihe (百合) This app is only in Chinese, but it takes dating to 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.
  5. Tantan (探探) According to eChinaCities, Tantan is China’s clone of Tinder.
  6. Blued (淡蓝) Blued is a gay dating app, primarily for queer men. It has 40 million users in 193 countries, so in addition to talking with Chinese men, you could also chat with people from many different countries.
  7. Lespark (Lespark) This app is for queer women and lesbians to meet and chat, post livestreams, and meet those around you.
  8. You can also check out the rest: Pengpeng (碰碰), Bilin (比邻), Hesha (喝啥), Qingchifan (请吃饭).

3. International dating sites and apps

But what should you do if you are eager to meet Chinese people but don’t know enough Chinese?

Use international dating applications! Many international dating apps are used quite frequently in China, especially in larger cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong. They’re quite popular among the expat and international student communities, as well as among Chinese who have international study/work experience or speak good English. Keep in mind, you might need a VPN for some options.

  1. Tinder
  2. Bumble
  3. Badoo
  4. OkCupid
  5. Skout
  6. eHarmony

Why use dating apps in China?

There are some people who are ashamed or afraid of creating a profile on such sites as they don’t consider such apps trustworthy, or may feel like it’s less respectable to meet someone on an app.

Of course, your experience dating and making new friends should only be what you are comfortable with. If apps make you uncomfortable, you don’t have to use them! It’s also not wrong to be cautious about meeting people on apps. Sometimes people may lie about their appearance or personality, or even may have dubious motivations to meet you.

But meeting and chatting online can also bring great benefits. If you are wise about your friends and who you meet, you can get the chance to chat with those you may have never met without an app. You can make friends outside your university or work life, get to know people your age from around the world, practice your Chinese, and make lifelong connections. In China, where people from many different countries have come together to work, live, and study, using an app is a great way to begin the conversation and find your place in your new Chinese life.

Of course, safety is a priority: It’s a good idea to meet new dates for the first time in a public place like a cafe or restaurant. Don’t pressure someone into an activity they don’t want to do. If someone you meet online gives you a bad feeling, you can block or report them. Apps have safety measures built in to protect their users’ safety.

Dating and communication apps in China are 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.

Of course, don’t forget about the 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. But in China, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people, not just at bars and clubs! Community events, fairs, markets, holiday events, and other gatherings are a perfect way to get to know people in person.

Chinese people are always friendly and open to meeting foreigners. They are interested in learning about other countries’ cultures and 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, or “foreigner” in Chinese, brings people from different countries together because they understand each other. When people are in a new country together and working to adapt, 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?

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman
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