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6 Best Chinese Movie Apps for Hundreds of Entertaining Shows

There’s nothing like sitting back and watching a good Chinese movie.

Not only are they incredibly fun to watch, but you can actually learn Chinese through movies and develop real-world skills through your favorite pastime.

To enjoy this indulgence regularly, you’ll need dependable Chinese movie apps. 

The six apps below have the best Chinese movie collections online (with subtitles!) so you can binge-watch to your heart’s content. 

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1. Youku

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Youku is a popular Chinese streaming provider that offers TV series, documentaries and, of course, movies.

Some of my favorite movie options include 大破阵 (“Big Break”) and 封神降魔2桃山气海 (“Fengshen Devil 2”).

While Youku has a lot to offer Chinese students, it’s best for intermediate-level learners and above because everything, including the app interface, is in Chinese.

The Youku app is free to download and some movies are available for free, though subscription options are necessary to unlock more material.

2. Viki

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Viki is a popular service that gives users access to a wide range of Asian content, including TV shows and movies from China, Taiwan and other Asian countries (most notably Japan and Korea).

One of Viki’s most exciting features is the subtitling options. Viki offers subtitles in over 200 languages, giving you all the subtitling options you’ve been dreaming about.

And the Chinese movie options are nothing to sneeze at. Viki currently features nearly 70 Chinese films, including 我是证人 (“The Witness”) and 宫锁沉香 (“The Palace”). 

Viki offers some content for free, but a premium membership can remove ads and give you access to more material.

3. Netflix

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Netflix is often seen as the be-all and end-all of streaming services for good reason: it has a lot to offer. And with its app, you can enjoy all its Chinese movies from the convenience of your favorite devices.

Some great Chinese movie options on Netflix include 不再讓你孤單 (“A Beautiful Life”) and 流浪地球 (“The Wandering Earth”). 

All movies have English subtitles, which you can also turn off for a greater challenge. Some movies, particularly Netflix originals, even have Chinese subtitles, though most of these feature audio that isn’t originally in Chinese. Dubbing options can allow you to listen in Chinese, however, while following along with Chinese subtitles.

4. iQIYI

Website | iOS | Android

iqiyi logo

iQIYI is a major streaming service in China. In fact, you can think of it as China’s version of Netflix, except there’s a wider range of shows—aside from movies and TV series, it also includes news, sports and variety shows.

More than half of its massive video content consists of iQIYI originals, and there are a bunch of hit shows under its belt, like 延禧攻略 (“Story of Yanxi Palace”). It has hundreds of excellent Chinese movies with new ones added regularly. I enjoyed watching 陳情令之生魂 (“The Living Dead”) and 天下無賊 (“A World Without Thieves”). 

Subtitles are available in different languages, including Chinese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.

iQIYI lets you watch some movies for free, but you’ll need to subscribe to watch most of the material.

5. WeTV

Website | iOS | Android

wetv logo

WeTV is another popular streaming app from China. It’s actually owned by Tencent, which is a top company in China that came up with nationwide apps like QQ and WeChat.  

A lot of the shows on WeTV are lengthy drama series, like 陈情令 (“The Untamed”). But you can also find plenty of original movies: 新画皮 (“New Painted Skin”) and 逃学神探  (“Detective Chen”) are two of my recommendations on this app.

WeTV has subtitles in several languages, including English, Spanish and Korean.

You’ll need to pay for membership to fully enjoy the app, although some movies have a free preview.

6. YouTube

Website | iOS | Android

youtube logo

YouTube is a pretty massive source for Chinese movies—many of which already have English subtitles.

Because of its movie buying and rental service, you can actually look up Chinese movie titles and find both original Chinese movies and foreign movies with Chinese subtitles. For example, YouTube offers 龍馬精神 (“Ride On”) and 臥虎藏龍 (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

Another method is to simply type in 电影 (Chinese for “movie”) on the search bar. There are several playlists too for old Chinese movies that are already royalty-free, as compiled by YouTube channels like China Underground and Modern Chinese Cultural Studies.

Getting the Most Out of Chinese Movie Apps

Try several apps to see which you like best.

There are a number of different apps on the market. They vary in format, price and even offerings. On some apps, you may find new Chinese movies, while other apps have classics. Trying out several apps will help you find out which option best fits your unique needs and preferences.

Pay attention to subtitling options.

Different apps offer various subtitling options. However, even within an app, these options may vary, so pay careful attention. Depending on the app and movie, you may be able to use English subtitles, Chinese subtitles or remove the subtitles altogether.

For instance, Chinese movies on Netflix usually offer English subtitles with Chinese audio. However, with some of the Netflix original movies, you’ll have more options. An example is “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” which was originally in English but also offers Mandarin dubbing, along with subtitles in English, simplified Chinese and/or traditional Chinese.

Have a translator handy on your phone or device for quick lookups.

Inevitably, you’ll encounter some vocabulary you don’t know well as you watch your favorite movies. Even if you’re watching Chinese movies based on novels, you might encounter some words that just weren’t in your favorite novel.

Luckily, since you’ll be watching from a phone or device, you have an easy option to look up words. Simply keep a translator or dictionary handy on your phone. That way, you can look up any unfamiliar words or phrases right away.

Supplement your language learning with more videos.

If you’re a movie lover, then it sounds like watching movies, TV and videos could be your ideal way to study Mandarin in general. Watching shorter videos can enhance your comprehension so full-length movies don’t seem as daunting.

So, be sure to find more video resources so you can keep learning long after your Chinese movie marathon is over.

There are even language learning programs based on videos now, like FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Go ahead—it’s time to indulge your passion for Chinese learning.

Maybe you can even indulge in a little popcorn and soda while you’re at it.

Have a fun movie night with these Chinese movie apps!

And One More Thing...

If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.

FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.

The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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