Is there a reliable mobile maps app for Android that works well in China and has an offline feature?

Baidu Maps appears to work well, but the interface is only in Chinese, so I am struggling with doing basic things like downloading maps for offline use or understanding why it is spamming me with multiple notifications every day.

Is there one with a translated interface?

  • "why it is spamming me with multiple notifications every day." Not sure about Android, but isn't it true that you allowed the notification? And isn't it true that you can disable it from the Settings app?
    – Blaszard
    May 27, 2017 at 15:29
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    @NateEldredge I am not in China at the moment, so I cannot try. This is one of the reasons why I am asking here. However, Google Maps is known to be both blocked in China, and pretty unreliable there.
    – Szabolcs
    May 27, 2017 at 19:55
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    Related: Downloadable maps of China and Is there a way to get offline maps of China for Windows devices as I have no iPhone or Android? or Is there a usable online map site for China?. None of them I would consider a duplicate, this is about an app that allows downloading maps for offline use, different from the related Qs. +1
    – mts
    May 29, 2017 at 5:38
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    @hippietrail I had my comment typed up, but went to check again just in case. I came back, pressed enter to post, and saw your second comment only after. So far the only map I was able to find that is not Chinese-only and is reportedly reliable is Apple's maps (not available on Android). OSM seems to have an offset issue. It seems that the Chinese government requires using a coordinate system which is separate to the rest of the world, and this causes offset problems in some maps.
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 6, 2017 at 8:59
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    @hippietrail But in the end it's not a big deal: if I was fine with no smartphone at all in the recent past, a Chinese-language-only map should definitely be sufficient.
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 6, 2017 at 9:00

3 Answers 3


I had good experience in China with Maps.Me (no affiliation; that's the name of actual application on Google Play). It is free, open source, and it uses OSM maps. Works offline too.

In some remote places in China this app maps were a bit off the actual location - but so were Baidu maps/wechat locations.

  • Thanks for confirming that OpenStreetMap is reliable in China. In which region/city did you try it? Actually I did look at OSM but stopped reading at the point where it was made clear that contributing to OSM is illegal there. But perhaps it is not enforced, so people can keep the maps up to date ...
    – Szabolcs
    May 29, 2017 at 16:34
  • Shanghai. The linked article says it is illegal to use GPS there in general :) but it is indeed not enforced.
    – George Y.
    May 30, 2017 at 0:46
  • I wouldn't say it's reliable. It has bugs and a lot of stuff missing. I've been using it for a month and a half. China develops very quickly and it's illegal for foreigners to engage in mapping activities in China so the maps necessarily lag behind. There have indeed been arrests but probably not for people adding POIs with their phones. In one village my hostel had at least three entries and one was several km off. A town in Sichuan was not on the map at all and in other remote places only the highway is shown with all other roads missing. Jun 6, 2017 at 3:55

Osmand is good for offline map. Especially, try a modified version of Osmand that has OSM as well as chinese maps like baidu, autonavi, and even google map china with corrected position offsets. You can use them as offline if map tiles downloaded. But Cons is that the app version is out of date.


While searching I came across OsmAnd maps. They offer offline maps and navigation, as well as a bunch of other features. OsmAnd served me well and I never had to look for a backup map.

If you speak a bit of Chinese, you can also take advantage of Baidu maps (iOS, Android). These offer a fantastic navigation interface in a form of AR. There are several other offline map apps that you can use as well. In case you use Chinese phones and don't have access to Playstore, you can use a third-party Android store like this or Aptoide.

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