Chineasy – Should I Believe The Hype? (2023 Update)

Chineasy Review – What is it & Can it Help Me Become Fluent in Mandarin?

Chineasy Review: 7.5/10
This was a really difficult number to give. Chineasy is amazing at what it does and who it’s aimed for and for that I’d give it a 9/10. But in terms of a Chinese learning app, concentrating only on characters for beginner learners, it gets a 7.5/10 for an overall Chinese learning app. But I 100% recommend downloading it if you’re just starting to learn Chinese!

Chineasy has become a household name in the Chinese language learning market. And it’s not just a language learning app, but a big brand offering so much more. Including physical publications, too!

So it’s about time we gave you a Chineasy Review!

But what is Chineasy, and how can it help you learn Mandarin?

Note: this is a pretty in-depth (and honest) review. Feel free to skip to the parts that interest you the most by using the chapters below.

Chineasy - The word for Dog
Chineasy – The word for Dog (in traditional)

Chineasy Review // Key Information

Chineasy Review // Pros & Cons

Chineasy Review // App Cost (Premium Subscription)

Chineasy Review // Introduction; What is Chineasy?

Chineasy Review // Chineasy Publications (Books, games etc)

Chineasy Review // Chineasy App

Chineasy Review // Chineasy Podcast

Chineasy Review // Does Chineasy Use Simplified or Traditional Characters?

Chineasy Review // Should I Use Chineasy? (Beginner – Advanced)

Chineasy Review // Can I Practice my Reading Using Chineasy?

Chineasy Review // Conclusion; Is It For Me?

Chineasy Review // Where to Download

Chineasy Review // FAQs

Chineasy founder Shaolan introduces the concept of Chineasy here

Chineasy Review // Key Information

Description“Unlock Chinese power with our strategic approach. Our method helps you understand the language structure to learn effectively and expand vocabulary quickly.” (Chineasy)
Where to findOnline:
App (app stores)
Publications (books, games etc)
Podcast (any podcast platforms)
No. of Languages Offered1 (Chinese)
Price$6.99 / $39.99
Chineasy Key Stats

Chineasy Review // Cost (Premium Subscription)

Below are the current costs for the Chineasy App.

Other charges related to Chineasy include purchasing the books and other publications.

Chineasy SubscriptionPrice (USD$)
Chineasy Subscription Fees

Chineasy Review // Pros & Cons

1. An amazing all-around brand with physical publications, podcast, and an app. 1. Only for beginners. Not suited to higher intermediate or advanced learners.
2. Beautiful designs make for a really simple and effective way to learn Chinese characters. 2. Publications include traditional and simplified character mix which could be a bit confusing.
3. Offers both traditional and simplified characters. 3. The clue is in the name – but this learning resource is only for Chinese. This is a con in comparison to other learning apps we’ve reviewed that offer multiple languages, but indeed the nature of this app means that it is only suited to Chinese… nevertheless, something to consider if you’re after only paying for one learning app.
Chineasy Pros & Cons

Chineasy Review // So What is Chineasy?

Chineasy was founded by Taiwanese-born Shaolan Hsueh in 2010.

It’s a big brand offering physical publications (two books) as well as a podcast, and an app. And it just keeps on growing!

Boasting beautifully clean designs, Chineasy’s goal is to make learning Chinese characters as easy as possible by creating pictograms around a character to help you remember them.

These characters are used in different formats which are also included on an app called Chineasy Cards (launched in 2018) and also Tinycards by Duolingo, both of which we reviewed not so long ago.

Note: Tinycards by Duolingo is no longer in existence.

You can also purchase Chineasy in book form on Amazon. They have a number of publications to date which include:

  • The New Way to Read Chinese
  • 100 Characters for Kids
  • Everyday Chinese: Learn Through Culture

… and so on.

Chineasy Review - Chineasy in a nutshell
Chineasy – Picture taken from their about page.

Chineasy Review // Chineasy Publications


chineasy books
Chineasy Books

After their first book publication success, Chineasy have gone on to publish a variety of books. They’re available on stores such as Amazon online.

Aside from the physical book publications, there is also an ebook available.

They’re great physical books for those that prefer learning using books. Plus, they make beautiful gifts for any Chinese learner!


Chineasy Publications

Apart from the Chineasy books, there is also a range of other publications available. This includes a postcard set, a set of flashcards, a workbook, and even a Chineasy memorization game.

We love how all of this fits in together!

Chineasy Review // Chineasy App

Most of the information in this Chineasy review covers the app.

It’s not the first thing Chineasy produced, but probably one of their most popular items! The app is as nicely designed as the rest of the brand.

It walks you through different levels and everywhere you look there are little images with their Chinese character counterparts in them somewhere.

The Chineasy app is the one you want to use to learn the most. Everything else is a really nice addition!

Chineasy Review // Chineasy Podcast

Chineasy Podcast

One of the newer additions to the Chineasy world, the Chineasy Podcast is called Talk Chineasy.

These are 7-minute bite-sized podcast where you can learn Chinese daily. They’re hosted by Shaolin herself, along with a guest.

They’re not long and make for a nice quick daily learning experience with a different topic each day.

As of March 2023, they’re still being uploaded daily!

Find the Chineasy Podcast here.

Chineasy Review // Does Chineasy Use Simplified or Traditional Characters?

One of the great things about Chineasy, is that they use a mix of traditional and simplified characters.

This is hardly a surprise, given the fact Shaolan is Taiwanese, which is where the Traditional format can be found (along with Hong Kong).

On the app, you can select from the start between using traditional and simplified Chinese characters.

In the publications, they indicate whether the character is simplified or traditional.

Whilst some characters are the same or pretty similar, there are some massive differences in a lot of the characters – so it’s a good idea to know which one to study or not. And a good idea to stick with one over the other.

One thing to note though is that these differences do exist. The concept of understanding simplified and traditional is something that a beginner must start to understand, but Chineasy doesn’t really tell us about this.

Traditional or Simplified Chinese Characters?

Traditional: If you plan on learning Chinese in Taiwan or Hong Kong, there’s an argument for just sticking with traditional characters and getting to know them.

Simplified: A beginner going to mainland China to learn Chinese will probably want to stay with Simplified.

Du Chinese Review ⭐️ Learn to Read Chinese Thumbnail

Du Chinese Review ⭐️ Learn to Read Chinese

Du Chinese Review | Whereas certain apps like LingoDeer do a bit of everything, Du Chinese focuses solely on the reading part of Chinese.

Chineasy Review // Should I Use Chineasy?

Beginner – Should I Use Chineasy?

Chineasy Cards App

Absolutely, why not?

Chineasy’s simple, yet beautiful designs are a great way to ease you into a new world of Chinese characters.

The idea of the illustrations is for visual learners to memorize characters better when put into a visual context.

I’d imagine most people would get by stronger by using Chineasy than simply reading a textbook over and over at the earlier stages of learning Chinese.

See in the screenshot here for the app Chineasy cards.

You are even learning in between lessons, and it’s very subtly done – very useful I think.

Because of Chineasy’s multiple publications and platforms, you can study it on your phone, through books or flashcards – it’s dynamic.

Intermediate/Advanced – Should I Use Chineasy?

In a word, no.

That’s no slight on Chineasy. It just doesn’t really cater for the more advanced Chinese learners.

There are apps that would benefit you much more such as Du Chinese, Hack Chinese and Beelinguapp.

Chineasy will give you a foothold, but after that, it’s time to say goodbye and move on to the more extensive apps with deeper content.

Hack Chinese 💎 We've Unearthed a Gem Thumbnail

Hack Chinese 💎 We’ve Unearthed a Gem

What is Hack Chinese? A database of Chinese characters (on desktop or phone) where you practice Chinese characters over and over again until they stick.

Chineasy Review // Can I Practice my Reading Using Chineasy?

No, and this is a key reason why we didn’t recommend it for intermediate/advanced students.

Reading Chinese is an absolutely vital element as you progress on your Chinese adventure.

Chineasy - The Card for Fire
Chineasy – The Card for Fire

Whilst Chineasy can give you a basis with individual characters when it comes to reading actual sentences and words, Chinese is a whole new game.

FOR EXAMPLE – let’s say we’ve just learnt the word for fire on Chineasy;

OK great, so now whenever I read an article/sentence with the character 火 it means fire?


In fact, most Chinese words are made up of two characters, and sometimes three.

FOR EXAMPLE – 火车 (“fire vehicle” literally) means train in Chinese. 火柴 (“fire fireword” literally) means match (from a matchbox) in Chinese.

Chineasy doesn’t teach you this. So whilst it’s crucial we learn these characters and words at an early stage, as we progress, we need to gain an understanding of how characters build words and this is something Chineasy does not do.

Chineasy Review // Conclusion; Is It For Me?

If you are starting out, download it.

If you have a fair knowledge of Chinese already, I’d skip this for more extensive apps.

I’d also recommend the apps over the books as well. The books feel a little more driven to children.

Either way, Shaolan and Chineasy have done a wonderful job of portraying Chinese characters and making the aesthetically fun to learn.

Will you use this App? Why or why not? Comment below and let’s chat it out!

Chineasy Review // Where to Download



Chineasy Review // FAQs

What is Chineasy?

Taken from Wikipedia:

Chineasy is an Internet startup created with the purpose of teaching characters, created by the entrepreneur Shaolan Hsueh. For visual learners the human brain is able to memorize information better if it is put into a visual context.

Is Chineasy free?

Yes. Chineasy is completely free to download and use on your phone. There is a premium version which you will need to pay for to unlock further parts of the app.

Does Chineasy teach Cantonese?

No, but the traditional characters are actually used in Cantonese so you will actually learn some Cantonese characters, but the pronunciation is completely different in most cases.

In Taiwan and Hong Kong – Traditional Chinese is used but in Taiwan, Mandarin is spoken, in Hong Kong, Cantonese is spoken.

When was Chineasy established?

Chineasy was founded in 2010.

Who founded Chineasy?

Shao Lan Hsueh, born in Taipei, Taiwan.

Can I download a Chineasy app?

You can download Chineasy Cards from here.

Is Chineasy good for advanced learners?

No, Chineasy is much better for beginners. Advanced users will get no benefit from using Chineasy.

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