WeChat is one of the popular messaging and payment apps in China. If you are a foreigner or expat planning to visit or living in China then WeChat is a must use app for you. It has lot of hidden features that could help you to have fun and run your daily life with ease. Here are 10 such WeChat tips for iPhone app for foreigners. You should go to App Store and install WeChat iOS app on your iPhone or iPad to use these features. We have identified most of the features in English so that you can use without anyone’s help.
10 WeChat Tips for iPhone App
- Share Location
- Change Name and Set Alias (Typing hold profile picture)
- Recall Message
- Set Custom Background for Contact
- WeChat Payments
- Mobile Top Up
- Search for Friends – Shake and Bottles
- Sending Red Packet
- Services and Mini Programs
1. Share Location
Whenever you get lost or wanted to find someone then use location sharing in WeChat. This is a very useful feature. Tap on + button when chatting with your friend and choose location option.
Select Send Location / Real-time Location to share the location with your friend. Then your friend can track and find you. Similarly you can get the location from your friend and track with the map.
Did you receive a message in Chinese? Well, tap and hold the message till the time the popup menu appears. Use arrow to choose the ‘Translate’ option. This will help to translate the message into English. Though this may be funny sometime, you can get the content.
Other useful function is to scan and translate the text. Tap on ‘Discover’ and then to ‘Scan’ option. You can scan any document in Chinese or other language and WeChat will instantly translate the content in English.
3. Set Alias
One of the problems in China is that people have two names – real Chinese name and the fake English name. Of course, you can’t understand the name written in Chinese. WeChat offers an easy way to set alias name to add English name for the contacts.
Tap on the contact to go to the profile page. Select ‘Set Remark and Tag’ option and set ‘Alias’ in English. Henceforth, the English alias name will be shown in the chats.
4. Recalling Sent Message
Sent a wrong message or wrongly sent a message to different group? Tap and hold the sent message and choose ‘Recall’ option. This will delete the message from the chat history. If the receiver did not read then they will only see that you have recalled a sent message. Remember, you can only recall a message before the next message is sent or received. You can’t recall a message from the history.
5. Set Custom Background
On the chat screen of individual contact, tap on the three dot buttons on the top right corner. Here you will have multiple options for customizing the chat with that contact. Remember these settings will be applied only for that contact and not on the account level.
Choose ‘Background’ option and set custom background. The background screen will be changed only when you chat with that contact. You can also mute notifications only from the person here.
6. WeChat Payments
This is one of the major reasons expats use WeChat in china. First you should add a bank account to your WeChat account to enable payment system. Then you can withdraw the money from your bankcard to WeChat account. Either you can pay bills from the WeChat balance or directly from the connected bankcard.
In China, you really don’t need a physical wallet and WeChat is sufficient to live. Learn more on how to do money transfer to your friends.
Every WeChat account will have one payment code which you can use for paying money on the shops. Generally the catchier will scan using the barcode reader. Upon your verification, WeChat payment system will instantly send for your purchases. You can do this by opening WeChat and tap on the + icon. Choose ‘Money’ option to reveal the payment code. Show this code to barcode reader on shops and pay the money from your WeChat account. Be careful to use this payment code, as the vendor will instantly deduct the money.
7. Mobile Top Up
WeChat payment system allows you to participate in many programs. One simple use for foreigners is to top up the mobile numbers. You can top up your own or anyone’s number from your WeChat account. Learn more on how to use WeChat for mobile top up.
8. Search for Friends – Shake and Bottles
Bored with regular routines? Searching friends is easy in WeChat. There are multiple ways to add friends in WeChat. Open WeChat, tap on the + icon and select ‘Add Contacts’. You will have plenty of options to find people.
- Friend Radar – find the people nearer to you using radar like map.
- Join Private Group – start or join a private chat group with the friends nearby.
- Scan QR Code – scan the QR code of your friend and in the contact list. After tapping on the + icon, you can also simply scan your friend’s QR code and them in your contacts.
- Mobile Contacts – upload all you mobile contacts and look for the people using WeChat.
- Official Accounts – search for any official brand or company’s WeChat account.
Besides above listed options, there are many other ways to find contact or look for fun in WeChat under ‘Discover’ section.
- Shake – now shake your iPhone to find the people who are shaking the phone at the same time. Similarly, you can also find TV programs and music.
- Search – find the people you are looking for with the WeChat account id.
- People Nearby – use this option to get the list of people using WeChat nearby your location.
- Message in a Bottle – Add a voice message and throw on the screen, you will get notified when someone pickups your message. Similarly, you can also pickup someone’s message in the bottle and make friendship. You can also throw back the picked up bottle if you see the message is inappropriate.
9. Sending Red Packet
Hong bao or red packet is a small packet of lucky money. It is a tradition in china to gift money in a red cover during Chinese New Year time. This is a good way to show your gratitude to your friends. This is good especially if you are in a good position in your company having lot of Chinese colleagues or you have lot of Chinese friends helping you to get things done.
On the chat screen, tap on the + button next to the text box. Select ‘Red Packet’ option and follow the process to prepare and send the money as a gift. You can also do this in a group setting the total amount and the number of red packets. People opens the red packet will get random money allocated from the total amount.
10. Services and Mini Programs
Go to ‘Discover > Mini Programs’ sections to view all the mini programs available through WeChat. Also you can find many other services under ‘Me > Wallet’ section. You can book taxi, hotel and pay utility bills through WeChat. Since most of the services are connected to local vendors, the connected pages will be in Chinese. So you need help for setting up things for you then you can follow it easily. For example you can use programs like bike sharing to scan and ride a cycle. After finished, park the cycle, lock it and pay through WeChat.
WeChat iPhone app is a wonderful app makes you life easier in China. It is a multipurpose app used for chatting, voice messaging and most importantly for send money to your friends and payment to vendors. As a caution, use WeChat to chat with only the people you know. You may receive lot of unnecessary messages. Don’t get into trouble by replying or accepting unnecessary friends.