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anais yaghmour

Very interesting. Wish I was there

Paul Campbell

Yes WeChat is a must, Google translate is also great, download the mandarin language pack, the real-time in camera text translation is wonderful, especially for menus - learn a little mandarin - Ni hao and Xie xie (hello and thanks) for a start

Have a calculator available (easy link on your phone) - buy stuff at the market by pointing at something, then use the calculator to indicate how many, they'll use their calculator to give you a price

BTW the subways are great, buy a card

You need to track down "shippers alley" out the back of the Seg building they'll help you ship stuff home

Nathaniel James Brown

You can ship stuff home using China Post, FedEx or DHL. It does get expensive. Not sure about lithium products.

If you setup a VPN before you go to China you can just keep on using everything like normal.

Some other apps you might like next time are Google Translate (download the language for offline and it works in China) & Maps.ME for offline maps which will not use up your data.


Am Chinese and i have to tell you that Tencent does backup every word you type on the server, out of question.
So do not be naive. You'd better hire a local guide when you go to Shenzhen next time for saving money.

Peter Svehla

Great article, thanks!

A couple of points:

WeChat in Chinese is 'WeiXin' (way shin). One of the few Chinese words I know, it's very useful.

WeChat now takes some international cards.


Nice post but making a youtube video out of it would be helpful. Saves us alot of time ;)

Abhishek Bhardwaj

I work for the Chrome OS kernel team in Google. Glad to see you used a Chromebook. I'd like to know more about your setup and dig deep into the update-over-hotspot issue you faced. What's the best way to contact you ?

Karim Yaghmour

@Abhishek Thanks for taking a peak and offering to help. You should be able to reach me at first name dot last name at opersys.com.


Be careful about Airbnb. You are supposed to register at the local police office when you travel in China. Big hotels automatically do that for you. Airbnb will not. They might fuss about it some time in the future and deny you entry if you don't register, there was an account of that online somewhere recently.


Nice post! Do you mind me translating this into Chinese and maybe post it to some of the tech blogs with your original links and names?

Karim Yaghmour

@Xiao Thanks for offering to translate this post, it's very much appreciated! So long as proper attribution is given and a link back to the original is provided, I'm fine with that.

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