A new startup for expats buys goods, pays bills and arranges many small things that may present a challenge for a non-Chinese living in China.

WeChat Secretary has been created by Daniel Worlton, a graduate student in linguistics, and Dave Lancashire, an Internet café owner. The startup is targeted at expats and aims to solve everyday problems that Worlton and Lancashire have both experienced while living in China. Even if a foreign national speaks Chinese, many things such as paying phone bills, buying water, arranging house-cleaning are difficult to organise, says Worlton.

The best way to solve these problems was to ask for help from a Chinese friend or a co-worker, according to Lancashire. WeChat Secretary is taking this role. It believes it makes buying goods and arranging services in China as easy for expats as it would be for a Chinese national. All communication with the customer is done through the Chinese messaging app WeChat that gave the new startup its name.

WeChat Secretary charges a 10% fee for their work, but Worlton believes that people who use their services will often save money because WeChat Secretary understands the tricky Chinese market. Lower fees are charged for those who subscribe on a monthly basis or for those who would use bitcoin. The company accepts international credit cards but believes that using bitcoin is more profitable and more secure. That is why new users, making large purchases, have to pay in bitcoins.