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Living Abroad in China During a Pandemic | Alex in the City-Mobile Nightmares

By ZHANG, GAOWEIALEX REPORTERFYICHONGQING|Jan 07,2022

Let me introduce myself. My name is Alex, and I have recently moved to Chongqing, China. I was born in Canada, but I have always been interested in China. The population of Chongqing is similar to that of my country. Some people might think that a vlogger is just a person talking about him or herself, and maybe that’s how it was many years ago. Some vloggers create educational content, and others talk about their political views or experiences. I try to inspire and motivate people to change their perceptions about China.  

With technology no longer an obstacle, I can get my message out to the world. People want an inside, non-biased look at real life in this competitive media landscape, and my vlogs deliver you that and more. I will not only show you China, but I will show you my accomplishments and my struggles. Every week I will deliver fresh content that you won’t find on the traditional media channels. Join me as we explore China together. “Alex In The City” is a weekly vlog covering the life of a Canadian who moved his entire life to China.

Chongqing– In episode one of Alex in the City -“Mobile Nightmares”, I will show you just how complicated moving to China can be. Most people think this is an easy task; it’s far from that. I visit various mobile shops in Chongqing to find an easy solution. To my dismay, I have no option but to change mobile platforms.

Due to Internet blocking, the Google Play app store is currently not available in China. It’s not pre-installed in Android phones sold in China and can’t be accessed from a mobile device in China. This can cause significant issues for people that have applications connected to Google Services. In a nutshell, this means most of my mobile applications are useless. But is that a bad thing? 

While mobile users elsewhere use dedicated apps for specific tasks, mobile users in China are accustomed to doing multiple, often seemingly unrelated functions, with just a single “super app.” Introducing Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat is a classic example of a super app. Aside from its primary function of sending messages, WeChat can also be used to order food, taxis, plane tickets — not because Tencent offers these services, but because it allows third-party companies to create apps within WeChat.

Officially called Mini Programs in China, these super easy to load mobile applications allow third-party companies without downloading separate apps to offer goods & services. WeChat now acts as its own operating system, which is a good thing. I’m ready for the challenge, join me. 

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