13

China is notorious for banning/restricting foreign Internet companies in order to support the local market. Even if some kind of a service is not banned, there is often a local competitor with tens of millions of users.

Is there a Chinese alternative for Foursquare/Yelp? Checking out restaurants in Beijing shows that those services aren't super-popular there and I'm guessing the local people use something else.

It's okay if the service doesn't have an English version, as long as Google Translate can handle it.

5

Use DaZhongDianPing(大众点评). This is an equivalent of Yelp in China, and you can search for restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as entertainments and hotels.

This service shows an approximated average price, food photos, ratings and a location for each restaurants. You can get a route from your current location on the app. This is available in Chinese only, though you can get a clue from icons on the app.

This service is more like a "Yelp for Chinese people" than "Yelp for China", which means you can use it in other cities around the world.

As to the equivalent of Foursquare, I'm not sure what kind of functionalities it offers. If you just want to inform your friends of where you are eating right now, which I think the core functionality it offers, Chinese people usually use WeChat or Instagram (blocked, though) to post photos and its location.

  • 1
    Thanks! I knew there must be something like this in China. – JonathanReez Nov 28 '16 at 6:44
  • @JonathanReez I'm not sure what service Zomato offers that Yelp doesn't except showing menu. In fact I have never heard it before the question. – Blaszard Nov 28 '16 at 10:27
8

There ... was. Jiepang.

Jiepang was the most successful copycat/clone/whatever of Foursquare in the Chinese market. However, it was looking like it needed to pivot earlier this year, as it was being scooped by Wechat (source) - although not a app like Foursquare, WeChat was stealing a lot of their users for posting photos at locations.

Unfortunately as of June, Jiepang seems to have gone offline. The official site says something like 'servers temporarily offline', but the app has stopped working too, and while there's nothing in any news I can find, the general consensus seems to be that it may be over - although maybe it's undergoing a secret pivot for a relaunch, it seems unlikely.

So other than WeChat, you're unfortunately not left with much - one quora thread does make mention of other smaller ones - sifang and k.ai, but it doesn't seem like they're much more than small startups.

  • It doesn't have to have check-in functionality, just ratings, photos and reviews. Don't Chinese people use something like this to find new restaurants and bars? – JonathanReez Nov 27 '16 at 12:28
  • @JonathanReez then you might be better off looking for a clone/copycat of Zomato/Urbanspoon? – Mark Mayo Nov 27 '16 at 12:29
  • Yes, post updated. All I need is the ability to get the "top 20 restaurants" or "top 20 massage salons" in any Chinese city. – JonathanReez Nov 27 '16 at 12:44
  • @JonathanReez hmm, I'd actually meant a new question. Changing the question once an answer has been posted sorta makes the answer invalidated to some extent :/ – Mark Mayo Nov 27 '16 at 12:52
  • 1
    Rolled back. Will post a new question now. – JonathanReez Nov 27 '16 at 13:00

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