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Today, we're going to talk about China's best friend, also known as WeChat. If you've been to mainland China, and after a few days you've probably already noticed that Wechat is the most popular app around. You've also probably noticed that not many people in China tend to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp Skype and many other Western social networks, since they're blocked by the Great Firewall and that's because they don't comply with the regulations of the Chinese government, let me tell you some fun things you can do with the WeChat app.
Feature number one. So since it's a texting app, obviously you can text people similar to Whatsapp and many other instant messaging apps. You can also send voice messages, which is very popular now in China. All you need to do is record your voice. Your voice is sent to the other person and then they can reply by the same way, by voice or by texting. You can also send pictures, videos of your location and if you can't find each other you can even share a live location which is quite helpful in China.
I think the most useful feature for communication between Chinese and non-Chinese speakers is feature number two. You can translate almost any text you want into your native language. To do so, simply long press any message and choose Translate. The app currently supports more than 20 languages including English, Chinese, and even Hebrew.
Feature number three is that similar to Facebook? You can post pictures, videos and articles on your wall and friends can like or comment on your posts on WeChat. This feature is called moments and Chinese love to go through your moments whenever they have time, you'll find them scrolling and searching for interesting posts. You have many salespeople on WeChat that tend to post about the products they're selling. The only problem is they tend to post a lot of them which can be quite annoying, so you can decide to mute their posts. To do so, you need to go to the contact's profile, tap on settings and then tap on "hide moments".
Feature number four is good when you want to add new friends, you can do that by using the QR code. So for non-English speakers who aren't familiar with the English letters is just so much easier to scan a QR code and painfully type in all those English letters, think about it. The other way around would you be able to type in Chinese.
One thing I really like is feature number five Chinese love to use nicknames as their profile names. They often upload a profile picture of a cute dog, a flower or somebody famous. I have so many contacts on my WeChat accounts, so it's really hard for me to figure out who is who? So what to do this feature allows you to change their name into something that you can remember. So, for instance, if my contacts nickname is a cute bunny, I just go and change it into their real name and business name and try to add a few specific letters which help me to divide my contacts into groups.
Number Six lets you see WeChat users that are nearby, it's a good way to find new friends. It can be useful when you are looking for potential clients or when you want to make new friends.
Number Seven. You can send monetary gifts and you can do this by sending red envelopes which is very common in Chinese tradition. In China, 8 is a symbol of prosperity because phonetically it sounds similar to the word to prosper. Chinese like to send red envelopes, it's also very common to send an envelope to a group when you want everyone to notice a text link, photo, or video that you've sent.
Number Eight is really cool because it can help you find a taxi whenever you are in a place where you don't see any taxis around. The driver receives a notification and he comes to pick you up, when he arrives he would give you a call. That way you know it's him and when you arrive at your destination you can pay with your WeChat number.
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