What search engines work in China?
–Yahoo, Bing, Baidu will work in China. However, most results are in Mandarin.
Verdict: There are other search solutions besides Google to use in China. Unfortunately most results are in Mandarin. Unless you can read Mandarin, search engines will have limited utility for you. I suggest you do your research using search engines before going to China. Otherwise you will need to rely on other travel sites to do your research while in China (see below).
What Map or Navigation Apps work in China?
–Yahoo maps will work in China.
–Bing maps will work in China.
–Apple maps will work in China.
–However, street names, landmarks, and hotel names will be labeled in their native Chinese language.
Verdict: There are several mapping apps to use besides Google Maps. Unfortunately, as with search, they are of limited utility unless you can read Mandarin. You should always carry a paper map from your hotel.
Do Uber and Lyft work in China.
–Uber and Lyft are not available in China.
Verdict: Uber and Lyft do not work in China.
Does Trip Advisor work in China?
–Trip Advisor works in China, though the mapping service did not work (I assume it was trying to use Google Maps).
–Trip Advisor reviews and forums can provide alot of infomation on places in China.
Verdict: Trip Advisor works in China. Furthermore, as search engines have limited utility, Trip Advisor is a good English-language resource for information on places in China.
Does Netflix work in China? Does Youtube work in China?
–Netflix and Youtube apps will open but will not stream or download.
Verdict: Streaming services Netflix and Youtube do not work in China.
Does Facetime work in China?
–Facetime can be used to make video calls while in China.
Verdict: Face time works in China.
Does Twitter work in China?
–You can not post to twitter.
–Twitter feed is visible but only posts older than 72 hours will display.
–3rd party scheduling apps will not work.
Verdict: Surprisingly, twitter does have some limited functionality in China. Twitter in China is essentially read-only, and only posts older than 3 days old are visible.
Does Pinterest work in China?
–Pinterest app will open and old posts and recently viewed posts are visible. However the app will not update, and you can not post new content.
—Verdict: Similar to facebook, recent Pinterest has very limited functionality in China.
Does Verizon Wireless work in China?
–Verizon can be used in China by purchasing data as needed or by paying $10 per day for Travel Pass to use your phone with the same data limits you have at home.
–I have used the $10 Verizon Travel Pass in 8 different countries, unfortunately the experience was poor, particularly in light of the high cost. The internet speeds I experience are dramatically slower than people who live in these and countries purchase their mobile date from local vendors. This is true even when logged on to the same networks that locals use. This leads me to believe that Verizon is contracting with these vendors for very poor service or that the service is somehow throttled.
–Though the phone display confirms a 4G connection, the network is painfully slow. It is adequate for simple tasks such as reading email, making phone calls, texting, and can (usually) handle web calls using WhatsApp or WeChat. However more data-heavy actions such as downloading a photo, or navigating are usually rendered useless by the slow speeds.
Verdict: Verizon’s international travel pass is fine for making calls, texting, or reading an email when out of the country. It can usually handle a web-based call, though video chats are hit-or-miss. However the speeds are too slow to use for practically everything else that you use your phone for. If you must have internet access on the go, you would be better served by purchasing a sim card in the country you are traveling to (if you are ok with your number temporarily changing) or renting a separate phone (if you are not).
Above results were based on my experience in Mainland China in July of 2019, using hotel Wi-fi and Verizon Wireless Travel Pass
Deep Ramachandran, M.D. is a Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine physician, founding CHEST Journal Social Media Editor, and co-Chair of ACCP Social Media Work Group. He blogs at Caduceusblog and the CHEST Thought Leaders Blog. He is on twitter @Caduceusblogger.