WeChat is an institution in China. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist, a student or working here, the mobile app will be your main source of information and communication. To help you get to grips with it, here are 10 WeChat accounts all China expats should be following.
WeChat ID: sinobytes
It’s a terribly kept secret, but SinoBytes is the best WeChat account for expats in China. Okay, we might not be completely objective as it’s the sister account of eChinaCities, but if you’re reading this article, chances are you already agree. If not, follow the account and find out for yourself!
SinoBytes regularly post guides, news and stories about interesting, weird and funny things related to working in China and general expat life.
Looking for a job in China? Look no further! JobsCINA is the leading resource for job searchers in China. They cover 170 cities and have more than 90.000 job postings. Okay, so we may not be completely objective this time either (this is the sister account for eChinaJobs), but if you're looking for something new, give it a try. You might just find your dream job.
WeChat ID: ShamelessPlus
If you were hanging around the Chinese expat scene back in 2015, you probably heard of a newly minted WeChat account named Shameless. Their first article “Eight Types of Foreigners in Beijing” is now the stuff of legends. It didn’t matter if you lived in Beijing or Ningbo, Shameless seemed to ring true for all expats. After going a bit too far with their raunchy content, however, the Shameless account got banned from WeChat, only to re-appear again as ShamelessPlus.
While their best work (which can be found on your favorite blocked search engine of choice) is arguably behind them, ShamlessPlus now posts adequate (and approved) funny, brazen and face-palming China content for your amusement.
WeChat ID: RealTimeChina
China Daily should be your go-to place for news about China, from a Chinese perspective. Yes, it’s state media, but it therefore presents a different narrative from Western mainstream media, which it can be illuminating at times. Sometimes you just need to read something positive about China and take a break from the doom and gloom on CNN and the BBC.
WeChat ID: TuniuTravel
For being a commercial account (they’re so big business, they’re even on the Nasdaq stock market website), the content dished out by TuniuTravel is surprisingly free from native advertising. The account is frequently updated with tips on where to travel, what to do and how to do it. They also post general travel news from other online publications, and they even include the sources.
TimeOutShanghai & TimeOutBeijing
WeChat ID: timeoutshanghaieng & TimeOutBeijingEN
If you're living in either Beijing or Shanghai, as we know a lot of you are, TimeOut is the obligatory account to follow if you want to know where to go and what to do. As the names imply, they are for people living in or close to Beijing and Shanghai. However, both publications also feature travel-style articles about other Chinese cities. These accounts will supply endless tips about what to do with your free time (if you have any).
WeChat ID: Theworldofchinese
Although the TWOC WeChat account is not as frequently updated as it once was, the quality of their content remains remarkably high. TWOC is not just a WeChat account, but also a bi-monthly English publication dedicated to exploring Chinese language and culture. It’s published online and in print, the latter of which can be bought on Taobao.
Their content is relatively highbrow and ranges from news, to features, to guides. The TWOC WeChat account is a great way to keep yourself sufficiently astute with the finer side of Chinese life (tweed jacket and bow-tie optional).
WeChat ID: China-Channel
Let's face it, we’re all using WeChat, all day, err’day. But how much do we actually know about the app itself? Chch, or China-Channel as they as call themselves, posts new and relevant information about the WeChat app, including interesting features about its societal implications both in China and abroad. This account is great for techies, social media watchers, sociologists and everyone in-between.
WeChat ID: tech88co
Tech rules in China, and if you’re not keeping up, you’re probably missing out. Tech88 is the WeChat account you need to follow to keep on top of everything tech, whether it’s new gadgets, new censorship restrictions or rapid changes in China's burgeoning technology industry.
WeChat ID: chinesetimeschool
There is a myriad of Chinese language learning accounts on WeChat, but the aptly named "Learn Chinese" may very well be the best. It’s completely free and updated several times a day with new content. The majority of the texts and exercises are at intermediate level, however, so you might find it a tad tricky if you’re a complete novice.
Feel this list is incomplete? Is there a great account we forgot? Write a comment below and let us know. We’re always on the lookout for new and interesting WeChat accounts!
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