Think of it as China’s WhatsApp. But.. better. It literally “micro message” but its more than a messaging service. Do video calls, use it like a walkie talkie (use the hold to talk) function, Chinese are nuts about Emoticons and they are cute, use them against your better judgement, use your feed to let people know about your life..not just listings. your area, personality, food, family: develop a connection. Use “look around” at conferences (you’ll be the only non-Chinese using it and will be surprised at the friendly messages you receive. Many a real estate deal have started with look around with me and my students. Use “shake” to add friends instead of trying to type Chinese. Download from the app store, choose a username and password. You will need a telephone number to register.
2. Google Translate
Google Translate is definitely not a perfect translation technology — but what a gift to understand those sudden messages that arrive in the middle of the night. Plenty of people use this for small talk. Valuable connection tool
Alipay is China’s PayPal. International payments and owned by Alibaba which also owns Taobao by the way… Remember when Facebook was just for Harvard students? Yea, that Alipay. It’s exploding. Think you will find a partnership in China without thinking of your partners needs first? You need a way to pay them a referral fee! Just mentioning that you pay referral fees in China with Alipay is huge. It shows potential partners that you mean business. Remember that trust runs low in China and if you don’t even care enough to have a way to pay them… well. We know what happens then.
Speak fluent Mandarin….? If not, you might want to communicate once in awhile. Look no further than Pleco: The go-to Chinese Dictionary. Free with paid upgrades. Want to know the word for….whatever. Pleco is the best dictionary. Free and a must have. Just download from the app store and install on iPhone or Android.