I'm going to China (Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai) and I'm looking for an alternative to Apple Maps and Google Maps for walking and public transport itineraries.

Because :

  • I'm not sure that all Apple Maps features are enable in this cities ;
  • Google Maps seems to be blocked by the Great Firewall ;
  • I would like to avoid the use of a VPN ;

I'm using an iPhone and Baidu Maps seems to be the more accurate choice, as well as the App Store description says that this app is also available in English.

But even with English available, the app is always boot in Chinese. My iPhone was set in French when I downloaded Baidu Maps for the first time. So I set my iPhone settings to English, and then download again the app, but it is still set in Chinese.

How can I set Baidu Maps for iOS in English? Thank you!

  • Have you asked the app developers for support?
    – user29788
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 7:44
  • @Moo Their support website is in Chinese, so I don't know how to contact them. And if I can, I'm not sure I can contact them in English...
    – Romain P.
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 7:54
  • I don't think it is available in English so recommend the use of Apple Map.
    – Blaszard
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 11:31
  • I used Apple maps when I backpacked China a couple years ago and it never gave me any issues. Apple has a large user group in China, so they've adapted the iOS software to the needs of the Chinese people.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 13:33
  • Thank you @Michael. Were you able to make public transit routes with Apple Maps, or just walking itineraries?
    – Romain P.
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


The AppStore description is not a reliable source of information. When I was in China a few months ago, the Baidu maps were only available in Chinese. You may use another phone with Google Translator from camera to learn basic UI.

My use case was:

  • Use web version of the Baidu with Google Translator to sign up.
  • Use copy/paste to find required info on the map.
  • Put the locations required to the Favorites.
  • Log into the same account on my phone.

You should be aware that VPN is not the only issue with the maps in China. All traditional maps will show 500m wrong location as a result of Government Restriction

I will recommend taking Maps.me as a backup, as it has English UI and does not require the Internet to work. (However, I am not sure whether Maps.me show right GPS coordinates in China)

  • I got back from China a couple of weeks ago--Google maps were accurate, no 500m error. Google is compensating for the deception. Unfortunately, at least the Shanghai map wasn't downloadable. (I didn't try with the other cities I was in.) While the maps were fine for navigation they had no more than 10% of the businesses if that. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 1:24

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