WeChat is an app that we here at TWOC have talked about many times. From its popularity and necessity in China, to the abundant shopping options and points of etiquette, we’ve covered them all.
But as an application, WeChat have grown significantly in the past year as it aims to become a consumer’s one-stop hub for all things. Messaging may take up 30 percent of your time on the app.
So here are some of the other functions that WeChat has to offer that you didn’t realise.
Click on “Wallet” and find a myriad of fun things to play with
Note: we have to point out that nearly all the extra functions that WeChat can perform require you to bind a bank card to your account. The process is easy, but we here at TWOC do not suggest you use the account that holds your life savings. A couple thousand RMB in the account should suffice for most people. It is also very helpful if you have basic competency in Chinese reading—or have a friend nearby.
- TOP UPS
Hark back to the days, when your cell service was discontinued due to lack of funds. You had to find one of those newspaper stands to buy a 50 RMB top up card for China Unicom, scratch off to reveal the code, phone a specific number, and then, after following the instructions, enter the code.
Now all you need to do is find Internet and simply top up through the WeChat.
Simply pick and pay
2. SPLITTING THE BILL
Or going “AA” as Chinese like to put it. WeChat as a handy function that not only divvies up the bill into equal portions, but also allows your friends to simply transfer over the money through the app itself.
Seems easy enough so far…
…and we’re done
Didi Dache, Uber, Kuaidi—in the search for easier transportation, all these apps may have at one point been taking up space and RAM on your smart device. No more, because due to WeChat’s partnership with Didi Dache, you can access their database of available cabs through Wechat’s own app.
Type in the locations and you’ll presented with an option to start
There is the downside that without the third party app, you miss out on the glorious graphics, but it functions exactly the same and, at the end of the journey, you can pay through WeChat payment.
4. TRAVEL PLANS
This function will probably be one of the lesser used ones, but is always good for comparisons. Users can search for both train and plane tickets (domestic and international). In addition, there are options for you to even check accommodation and venue tickets.
Not everyone’s first choice for travel plans, but handy for quick checks and comparisons
Great for when you’re in a rush and need to get on that last minute flight to Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, for your colleague’s sister’s baby shower.
5. FILM NIGHT
If you still buy movie tickets at a theater then you have been sorely missing out. Not only do online retailers offer much lower prices, but…wait…that’s it. The prices are potentially much lower.
That first film looks interesting
Hopping into your WeChat Wallet, you can find listings and tickets for movies in your area. Purchase them using WeChat payment and you will receive a code. Then when you get to the cinema, simply type in the code to one of those machines beside the cashier to retrieve your tickets.
Just in time for Star Wars.
For more on the tech industry in China and what other apps are useful check out our technology section.
Cover image cropped from Cheon Fong Liew