Meet China’s QQ Music, a streaming app with 80 million users

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QQ Music is perhaps the best streaming music app in China.
QQ Music is perhaps the best streaming music app in China.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — In China, 478 million people — more than the entire population of the United States — listen to music online, according to government statistics. I am one of those people, and in China I have joined the reported 80 million active users of QQ Music to stream music on my iPhone.

When you need to fix your face, download China’s Photoshop for selfies: MeituPic

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MeituPic
MeituPic lets you "fix" your selfies fast by removing blemishes, lightening skin tones, thinning your face, enlarging eyes, darkening eyebrows, etc.
Screenshots: MeituPic

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — A Chinese friend of mine recently started a fashion blog and asked me to take and edit some photos of her. We met up one sunny afternoon and I snapped various shots of her posing in a local park for an hour or so. After the shoot, we took a look at the photos together and she selected a few for me to edit. I took a crack at the photos in Photoshop, but she was far from satisfied.

“You barely even fixed my face,” she told me. “Just send me the photos and I’ll edit them on my iPhone.”

I was mystified. What iPhone app can rival the technology of Photoshop? How exactly was she going to “fix” her face?

Hungry in China? Get ready to DianPing it

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China's Dianping app combines crowdsource reviews like Yelp with group discounts like Groupon.
China's Dianping app combines crowdsource reviews like Yelp with group discounts like Groupon.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — “Where are we going to eat? Have you DianPing-ed it yet?” These are questions my friends and I often ask each other when we get together. This convenient app, backed by internet powerhouse Tencent Holdings, is a great tool that combines the functions of Groupon and Yelp.

WeChat is the messaging app that’s more like a mobile OS

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China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
China's WeChat is a messaging app tha offers just about everything, from text messaging to instant payments. It's a monster, with mote than 1 billion registered users.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Now that I use WeChat, I don’t need much else when it comes to social media apps. In fact, WeChat has almost entirely replaced text messaging in China. I am able to link up with other WeChat users through their username without providing a telephone number, so it is a great platform for communicating with new acquaintances or people I am working with.

I have hundreds of WeChat contacts, but only a handful of telephone numbers in my iPhone. The app also recently introduced group video messaging and has an extensive WeChat Wallet service (similar to Zhifubao) available to Chinese bank account holders.

In China, the Alipay app is as good as cash

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Everyone accepts Zhifubao, China's answer to Paypal, even street vendors.
Everyone accepts Zhifubao, China's answer to Paypal, even street vendors.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. Apple is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — The common question when conducting any kind of financial transaction in China is: “Cash or Zhifubao?” I have used Alipay in a wide variety of settings — paying for products online or meals at restaurants, sending rent money to my landlord, or squaring up with a taxi driver. It was easy to set up, after I spent all of 15 minutes creating a Chinese bank account at my local branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

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Meet Taobao: China’s bigger faster version of Amazon

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Taoboa is China's version of Amazon, but much faster: products are sometimes delivered in minutes, not days.
Taoboa is China's version of Amazon, but much faster: products are sometimes delivered in minutes, not days.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. Apple is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Imagine a website where the all the millions of “made in China” products are at your fingertips . Taobao delivers just that, and the app has completely revolutionized online shopping here in China.

Made in China: These apps are killing it on iPhone

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Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Everywhere you look in China, young people are tapping away at apps.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — Just like their U.S. counterparts, Chinese youth obsess over their smartphones. But while the phones they use look the same, the apps are quite different: China has its own must-have apps that keep users’ eyes glued to screens at all hours of the day.

Some Chinese apps seem quite similar to their Western counterparts, but others boast innovative and intriguing features. Apple’s clearly interested: While slowing growth in China put a dent in APPL stock, Cupertino recently made a strategic $1 billion investment in Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing.

What other apps in China might grab Apple’s attention? Tim Cook could start his due diligence with this list of powerhouse Chinese iPhone apps. The country’s young people use these apps to listen to music, make purchases, get around town, interact with others and maintain their online identities.

These Chinese apps are impressive and convenient, and they are showing us the future of mobile: a world where everything is at our fingertips.