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dale jordan

Alternatives for keeping in touch with people back home

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dale jordan

Im moving to china in a couple weeks to teach and am looking for alternatives for communicating with friends and family outside of china. I have heard skype in china can be spotty at times, a lot of people i know dont have smart phones or might be unwilling to download we chat. I was wondering if anyone whos lived out there knows any other good alternatives for keeping in touch with the folks back home.

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No, you can't absolutely count on it, but I've found Skype pretty reliable in the past year. In any event, it's not a good idea to rely on just one service, and if you look around you'll find other VOIP services you can sign up for at nominal cost.

 

(I don't do video, either.)

 

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imron

I've used Skype with people in China recently (at their request and I'm outside of China, they're inside) and it seems to work ok, though I have to say I do not like their new interface at all.

 

This was computer-to-computer voice call only though.  Don't know how video will hold out.  All the video calls I do with people in China are done with WeChat.  Maybe try and convince your closest friends and family to install that.  It will likely work the best.

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DavyJonesLocker

I use WhatsApp daily. No issues.

I make Skype calls regularly and works better with a good VPN. 

 

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歐博思

Get a good VPN or similar software installed before you arrive and use whatever you like.

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roddy

Where are you going to teach, Dale? What kind of teaching are you doing? How'd you find the job? Because we're going to suck you into our community now and make you be our friend!

 

You can check out [cheap communications options] any time you want, but you can never leave...

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大块头

 

1 hour ago, roddy said:

we're going to suck you into our community now and make you be our friend

 

gooble gobble gooble gobble

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dale jordan

Xian, teaching english, and a large amount of digging on daves esl. 

but yeah i heard skype does work but the few people i've talked to who have lived out there already tend to use it as a last resort. 

still gathering as many contact options from everyone i know before i go just in case though

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imron
11 minutes ago, dale jordan said:

the few people i've talked to who have lived out there already tend to use it as a last resort.

WeChat's where it's at.

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AaronUK

@dale jordan Good luck with the job, let us know how things get on!

 

I have skype lessons with someone based in Shanghai. The connection can sometimes drop out, when we revert to using Wechat that works fine, so I think its firewall related.

 

I think that the Internet in China has periodic testing to check they can take down VPN and other services should there ever be a need to. There is also some variation between different cities about what works and what doesn't.

 

When I was in Shanghai and Beijing last July, I remember that while Instagram was blocked, Snapchat was fine. Could be the case with other newer social apps.

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ChTTay

Whatsapp hasn’t worked for me without a VPN for quite some time. At least not reliably. 

 

Skype never used to work well but based on the above I might give it another try. 

 

My Dad also purchased a Lyca Mobike simcard (in the U.K.). It’s just this mobile operator that targets people who need to call abroad a lot. It worked out cheaper and they just top it up when they need. It’s in some Nokia phone from 2003 with snake as the main form of entertainment. If they ever want to talk, they just ring me on my Chinese number. I can always send them a message to get them to call me also. 

 

Otherwise, my parents also ended up downloading wechat just to message me.

 

You’ll likely find out who your real friends are by who keeps in touch!  

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happy_hyaena

If you're relying on Gmail for all your important mail, make sure to have it send copies of your mail to a mail adress that you can log onto in China. Microsoft worked while I was there but I also made sure to open up a QQ account to have ready in case Microsoft were to get into trouble.

 

When I studied in China I also had my mother and the girl I had been dating at the time get WeChat accounts and add me. My dad would also call me now and then on my Chinese number. You'll need a WeChat account regardless BTW, that you can then connect to your Chinese bank account in order to pay for stuff without cash.

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