#childsafety | Eleven WeChat Family-Friendly Groups for Beijingers

If you’re like me, you probably have a love-hate relationship with WeChat groups. It is a shock to anyone moving to China to realize just how pervasive and unavoidable they are. There are groups for work, ranging from the various departments to the entire company, and groups that pop up for certain projects. There are groups for friends, special interesting, sports, organizing events, buying and selling, tracking local news, for different language groups, for flash sales… the list goes and on. 

But I would be lying if I said WeChat groups weren’t also a lifeline. Just within the last few months, certain groups saw us through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, providing up-to-date statistics, announcements from the government or even just quick status updates from group members to let everyone know what the situation was like in their corners of the city, and how they were coping.

To put it simply, now more than ever, Wechat groups are essential. With fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, busy families are worried about having to learn to navigate a complicated landscape once again. Most likely, that navigation will heavily rely on your group network and what information it can provide for you. If you don’t know where to start, here are some groups you might need or might just be interested in joining.

Groups for breaking news and safety

Safe and Sane Beijing
Started and curated by True Run Media’s own General Manager, Mike Wester, Safe and Sane quickly became the go-to group for most Beijing expats as they tried to find accurate information about the pandemic. It has since grown from one to numerous groups, still providing relevant information, from the closing of schools to the latest information about new infection cases and safety precautions being implemented by the government. As far as groups go, this is an essential one is an essential for 2020.

Request to join via WeChat ID: mwinchina

Beijing Parenting and Beyond
To survive as a parent in Beijing, you need to continually be kept in the loop of all that’s happening and how it might affect your child. The last couple of months have been a reminder of that, with schools and the ministry of education releasing a torrent of information in short periods. This is a great group to keep you up to speed on the latest in the world of schools and parenting in Beijing. You can compare notes with other Beijing parents and exchange tips on how best to get through this period.

Request to join via WeChat ID: becstarnz

Beijing Expat Network
Started by a Beijing mom and dental professional, Beijing Expat Network has seen tremendous growth as a large number of new and seasoned expats join have joined. During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, it served as an essential source of information, where members shared and forwarded news updates from other platforms. It is also a great source of essential contacts, from the best place to get your nails done to info about who makes the best pizza around the city. It’s a fun and diverse bunch mix of foreigners and locals alike, and well worth having on your list.

Request to join via WeChat ID: jnjmama

Groups for moving, selling, buying, and living

Moving Sale and Buy 北京
There is absolutely no reason why you should panic if you’re planning a hasty retreat from Beijing. This group allows to ‘offload’ all those things you no longer need. And if you’re a deal hunter like me and sick of Taobao, it might be a great place to score some excellent deals. Personally, I recently got a practically new exercise bike for next to nothing.

Request to join via WeChat ID: chxwzgg

Wellhome Decluttering
A consequence of living is that you accumulate baggage. Be it in the form of old baby clothes and toys, clothes that used to fit pre-baby or paraphernalia you bought under the misguided notion of cultivating a new hobby, finding storage spaces for all this stuff can be challenging, and the resultant clutter could negatively impact your quality of life. Enter Astra Holmes, Beijing mom and decluttering expert who helps Beijing families put their lives in order – quite literally – with weekly challenges and lessons aimed at tackling the mess in your house, one manageable project at a time.

Request to join via WeChat ID: becstarnz

Welcome to an entire Wechat universe specially reserved for women – sorry guys! The Well-Women platform has all you need from a second-hand group Beijing Clothing Auction Network, for those all-important clothes swaps to WellParent, a group for parents to share relevant info about being parenting in Beijing and to offer each other support and advice. WellStyle, WellFitness (complete with 21-day challenges), and WellPlanet for sustainable living are just a few more of the groups available in the expansive WellWomen universe.

Request to join via WeChat ID: becstarnz

Apartments For Rent Beijing
This is a particularly important group for those without sufficient Chinese or patience to deal with housing agents in Beijing. Members always give great leads for available apartments or flats available to be taken over for short or long-term leases, and all without the pesky middle-men. That isn’t to say there are no housing agents in the group. But the group’s community rules ensure you don’t have to worry about constant spamming from agents.

Request to join via WeChat ID: lin_jakub

Food, health and everything in between

Beauty and healthy Beijing
Ever been disappointed by your manicurist, or had your hairstylist cancel on you at the very last minute? Ever wonder where to find the best masseuses or even acupuncturists? Or even to find out what hospitals are offering special offers on certain services? This is the group you’ve been looking for.

Request to join via WeChat ID: jnjmama

Family events only beijingkids

Curated by our very own team of editors and contributors, this group only includes events appropriate for excellent family fun. Each week, we round up the best activities to attend throughout the city. If you find yourself usually stumped for ideas, then this is one you want to have in your back pocket.

Request to join via WeChat ID: mwinchina

京 Expat Activities and Classes
As part of the greater GloberWeb.com family, this group offers an extensive list of activities for families and individuals who are trying to make their weekends or evenings count. Once things open up yet again, it will be an invaluable resource for us Beijingers to try and recapture our lost summer.

Request to join via WeChat ID: TanyaBG

Mental Health | CandleX
With all that’s been happening lately in our lives, it is important to give our minds the tune-up they deserve. It has been a period of enormous emotional upheaval, and it still no shows no sign of letting up. Mental Health| CandleX offers supports its members through the emotionally and psychologically straining times we are currently living in.

Request to join via WeChat ID: lbinfield

This article originally appeared on our sister site beijingkids.

READ: Meet the Young Mind Behind Beijing’s Newest WeChat Food Channel, Savour

Images: Unsplash

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