How to Use WeChat: A Brief Guide

Everyone who spends time in China has learned that they need to have WeChat on their phones because it is the only way to communicate with anyone over there. In fact, since the lines between business and pleasure often connect quite often in China, it is even common for businesses to connect with their employees via WeChat as well.  

WeChat is an amazing platform allowing people to connect with family and friends all over the world via voice and video calls, voice messaging, text messaging, and sharing photographs. It’s also one of the most commonly used payment methods in China.

It does much more than that though, let’s take a look at how to use WeChat on your phone, and what you can do with WeChat app!

5 Steps on How to Get Started with WeChat

1. Download the WeChat App

how to use WeChat - download the app

The first thing that you will need to do is go to your smartphones app store and download the WeChat app (Android or iPhone).  The download process does not take long, and you will soon be ready for the next step.

2. Create Your Account

how to use WeChat - create your account

As with all other social media accounts and apps, you will need to create your own personal account before you can use it.  You will need to create a username and password, as well as fill out your personal information. After verifying your information, you will be asked if you want your contacts scanned and added automatically or if you want to skip that step to add each of your contacts one by one later on.  

3. Adding Friends

how to use WeChat - adding friends and contacts

Once you begin using WeChat, you can receive friend requests from people that you know. Those requests will show up as a notification on your phone and you can choose whether or not you want to add them to your contact list.  If you want to send someone a friend request, you would need to go to the contacts section and then new friends. You can enter your friend’s name or phone number into the search bar and as soon as you find the correct person, you can send a request.  

–> 7 ways to add friends on WeChat

4. Sharing a Name Card

share your namecard on wechat

Under the settings section of your profile, you will find a ‘share his name card’ option.  This option will allow you to share selected name cards with anyone that you choose. Those people can then save that information to their WeChat.  

5. Start Chatting Away!

chatting on Wechat
Chat image from The Next Web

Congratulations! You now have WeChat completely set up for chatting and texting!  To begin, simply open your contact list and select the person that you would like to talk to, text, or record an audio message to. What’s even amazing is that you can also use WeChat on PC

More detailed step-by-step guide on Wiki.

WeChat Overview: What You Can Do  

Since this phenomenal app does so much, we wanted to share a little about each one of the wonderful features. While you may not use them all at first, we can assure you that you will find yourself implementing more of them as you continue to use the app.

what can you do with WeChat, how to use WeChat

Text Message

Texting is quickly becoming the most popular option for people who just need an answer to a question or those who do not want to spend hours talking on the phone.  With WeChat, you can send texts, audio clips, videos, and pictures through the texting feature. While you can use this to communicate with people separately, you can also create group messages for those times when you want a few people to receive the same information.

Voice Message

Voice messages offer a lot of conveniences because you can simply utilize the hold to talk button to record exactly what you would have spent a few minutes typing out for a text message.  This handy feature is fantastic when you are really busy, have your hands full, or simply do not want to spend time typing everything out.

Video and Audio Calls

When you live overseas, you do not want to live without hearing your loved ones’ voices for any length of time.  Well, regular long-distance phone calls can be very expensive, but you can avoid those charges by using WeChat. The audio calls are the same as they would be over a regular phone line, but you won’t see any fees for your usage.  Of course, nowadays, seeing people as you are talking to them is always the best option and WeChat lets you do that in a way that is similar to Skype and Facetime.

Share Moments with Friends

While Facebook is an excellent social media site, anyone who has WeChat will never need to use it.  Instead, they can use WeChat’s features that include a memories feed. This feed will allow you to share pictures, statuses, and even links.  

Pay with WeChat Pay

Pay with WeChat Pay

Carrying money and credit and debit cards is eventually going to be a thing of the past in China, especially since it is so easy to use the WeChat Wallet feature.  The WeChat Wallet will allow you to transfer money to friends, make a purchase on websites, invest in wealth management funds, pay your bills, pay for movie tickets and meals out, and much more.  You won’t need to worry about determining how to count out the local currency or continue to take money out of the bank.

Call a Taxi via WeChat

The WeChat Wallet can also be used to call a taxi and pay for it at the end of your ride.  This handy feature will ensure that you are not standing out on a strange street corner wondering where you need to go to catch a ride.  


As a foreigner in China, you are going to spend weeks and months learning the local language. The WeChat app can make this much easier for you because you can scan anything that is written in Chinese and have it automatically translated to English for you.  Imagine being able to order off a regular menu, read the signs out on the streets and know where you are headed, and more as you are getting used to your new surroundings.  

Why not test it out yourself?

Using WeChat can be so much fun because you can do a multitude of things without switching apps.  That means that you can share your status just seconds before sending a text message and answering a phone call from a family member back home.  This app will change your life completely, so download and start using it to its fullest potential!


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