Keeping in touch while living in China

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in China? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from China? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


the App:Wechat,design by Tencent Inc,WeChat is a popular free messaging service, online video calling services.

I usually Use Viber and IMO to keep in contact with my loved ones.

I don't I left everyone back home i try and avoid communication as much as possible I delete everyone off of all social media platforms and focus on work and work only.

It's difficult in China to use Google applications so I use Wechat application for to be contacted with friends and family in my country please

I use skype and wechat with the family who is willing to upload it to  their phones.

I have a few ways to keep in touch with family and friends back in the states.

I recommend the We Chat app and you can video call, phone call, voice message or type.  This is the best method for international communications that I found.  It is all free and all you need is an internet connection.

I speak often and at will, I share my adventures here in Beijing with them, pictures, experiences and of course the culture, foods, etc.

By the way Y'all - Happy Halloween!

Well, I am using skype when visiting China. It worked last year. I've been trying some of the other applications you are writing about here but didn't feel comfortable with them. I also heard that many of these are followed by authorities in China and that gets me to consider other applications.

you can use voip to make phone calls to your country rather making direct International phone call as that one is cheap.

I know that wechat is widely used. Does whatsapp work efficiently if you have a VPN?

I used my US Republic Wireless phone in China.  $6/month and make and receive phone calls as normal, though limited to doing so over WiFi. 

This means my friends and job offers and the rest just call me normally with no indication I am actually in China.  Voice was crystal clear.  It is an Internet phone and seems to work anywhere in the world.

Can you give me the link to buy that wireless phone service
Thank you

Looks like their cheapest plan is currently $15/month which would let you talk unlimited if you are on WiFi but likely wont let you talk outside of a wifi network. 

Works great in both China and the US (and should work anywhere with Internet).

Skype is the best. WeChat is also great, but most Westerners don't use it.  Email is always good, but use a local Chinese service like  If you use American based email like Yahoo! it is slooooowwwwww.

I use Skype and WeChat for communicating also I use klok application for time zone convertor to check exact timing .

I found that there are two reliable ways to keep in touch with people back home. The first is using WeChat, which is the most common instant messaging and online call/video service in China. It is not very common outside of China, but if you need to always be able to contact someone outside of China, (e.g. close friends and family) getting them to sign up might be a good idea. That way you can always reach them if your VPN is having problems or applications like WhatsApp are blocked.

Skype is currently not blocked in China, and seems to work well (from China to Australia, at least). Skype was recently removed from the Apple and Google app stores in China, which means it might be blocked in the future, but for now it is a good option for calling home.

Well, the most popular instant message app in China is WeChat, or QQ which is more popular to young, both of the applications are from Tencent.
you may can use WhatsApp in China, but you need to use VPN, I suggest you can download some VPN apps in your country before coming to China, VPN has been forbidden in China.
hope you can enjoy your life in China.

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