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wikia.com/wiki/China

China
The People’s Republic of China is a very special country to buy a local SIM card. Although almost every mobile device is produced here in these days, buying a
SIM card can be quite complicated, especially as very few people understand or speak English and you'll face some restrictions.

Contents [show]

Basics Edit

This article applies only to mainland China and doesn’t refer to the 'special administration' areas of Hong Kong and Macau, where other laws are enforced and
providers operate (see Hong Kong and Macau chapters).

Networks Edit

China has three national networks:

China Mobile (中国移动)
China Unicom (中国联通)
China Telecom (中国电信)

All three are state- (or “people's-“) owned and controlled. China Mobile is the largest mobile provider of the world with more than 800 Mio.
customers and almost 2/3 share of the market, followed by China Unicom with 24 % and China Telecom with 14 % market share.

Frequencies, compatibility and coverage Edit

Network 2G/GPRS 3G/UMTS 4G/LTE

China TD-LTE: 1900, 2300, 2500 MHz
900, 1800 MHz TD-SCDMA
Mobile Bands: 38, 39, 40, 41

FD-LTE: 850, 1800, 2100 MHz
China 2100 MHz TD-LTE: 2300, 2500 MHz
900, 1800 MHz
Unicom Band: 1
Bands: 1, 3, 5, 40, 41

FD-LTE: 800, 1800, 2100 MHz
China TD-LTE: 2300, 2500 MHz
CDMA BC0, BC6 EVDO BC0, BC6
Telecom
Bands: 1, 3, 20, 40, 41

All numbers and bands in italics are not compatible with most GSM-based devices sold outside of China

China Telecom uses a CDMA network which is incompatible with all GSM-phones purchased outside China. Only a few CDMA devices from the US or Asia can adapt to their frequencies (for more
details see China Telecom section below). 

2G: China Mobile’s and China Unicom’s 2G (up to EDGE speed) are compatible with common GSM/2G phones (although US-models need quad-band).  

3G: China Mobile’s 3G service is based on a weird Chinese-made TD-SCDMA standard, which unfortunately is not compatible with any phones from outside China. Again, if you brought your own
phone from outside China, you will not be able to use 3G on China Mobile’s Network. 

Only China Unicom’s 3G network is compatible with any unlocked phone that supports 2100 MHz 3G, which covers most modern smartphones in up to HSPA+ speed (max. 21.1 Mbit/s).

4G/LTE: LTE started in 2013 on China Mobile as TDD-LTE on 1900, 2300 and 2500 MHz, which is now starting to be used in other countries too. Certain phones like the iPhones 6/7 are usable on
China Mobile's 4G network. China Unicom and China Telecom were given licenses for 1800 MHz 4G FDD-LTE which are much more compatible with most 4G phone models worldwide and are now
already used in most cities.

The reasons for this frequency mess-up are described in detail by Michael Jennings: here (His story is still accurate, but needs an update: In early 2014 China Mobile has teamed up with Apple and
since then the biggest operator of the world sells the iPhone at last).

In 2014 China's regulator released MVNO licenses to different companies. Mi Mobile (小米移动 电话卡) by manufacturer Xiaomi started in September 2015 both on China Unicom and China Telecom.
SIM cards are only available online to be sent to a Chinese address and registration can be made only with Chinese IDs. That's why they aren't listed (more info in Chinese here ).

Coverage Edit

China Mobile has the best coverage in the country, covering the whole nation in 2G. But you will get it only in up to EDGE speed (around a max. of 320 Kbps). This is sufficient for phone calls and texts
and basic data like: maps, WAP sites, instant messaging. Not holding a phone built for the Chinese market China Mobile's 2G is pretty useless for mobile internet or VoIP calls. For this, your only
choice is China Unicom on 3G/4G, which still has a reasonable coverage.

Starting up Edit

While it has become more difficult to get a local SIM card in recent days, the process is still relatively painless (but be prepared to wait if you go the official way). There are no regulations that you have
to live in the country or province. Some vendors are trying to sell mostly China Mobile SIM cards on the street. If you do this, make sure the SIM works before leaving the vendor stand. While you can
skip the tedious task of registration by doing this, you will not be able to receive any support after activation.

Better go to small mobile shops or the official shops of the operators showing your passport and say “SIM Kaa” pointing at your device. Don’t expect anybody to speak English (you may be luckier if
you are in a foreigner area of a big city). You may make a print copy in Chinese of the products which are featured on this site before going to the store.

The problem is recently, that most shops - even the small newsstands - only accept the machine-readable Chinese ID card. Foreign passports seem to be accepted only by the flagship stores of the
providers (or at airports). While you may ask a Chinese to 'borrow' his ID card, you should know that behind the strict identification requirement is to track someone down in case of 'politically incorrect'

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The idea is to make you call back an expensive premium number. doing the top-up for a surcharge. which you need to provide. Officially they require you to cancel your plan when you leave to avoid being blacklisted. international (IDD) calls can be very expensive and often not enabled at all. as the prices tend to be higher there. That's why some offers of HK-roaming SIMs and SIMs from abroad are added at the bottom of this article. Ad text messages are the least annoying and can be deleted right away. all new mobile phone users have to register their real names in order to use any services. So try to buy your SIM at the place you intend to use it most or buy another SIM in the next province. you will receive a text when your balance reaches zero. Another option is to buy a Hong Kong-based SIM or a SIM from abroad and use it roaming in mainland China. a 4 in contrast is seen as bad luck and the SIM will be discounted. 2017. or replace the SIM at the carrier store if the SIM is not registered to yourself. Even if you choose to try to stick to WiFi instead of purchasing mobile data.2 RMB per minute. China Mobile has already removed domestic roaming and long distance surcharges as of September 1. Regional organization Edit All three providers are organized regionally. Account termination must be done in person. Plan termination of a prepaid SIM/account require you showing up at one of the branded stores of the operator with the original ID used to registered the SIM.com/wiki/China use of the cell phone. You can pay more (between 18 to 588 RMB per month) for a variety of combinations of minutes. which starts at 8 RMB per month with no inclusive minutes or SMS. and it doesn't matter if you wish to forfeit the balance. If you leave the country without properly terminate your plan and account. and if you are out of province. Normally. And you are charged the same being called and calling out. You get a SIM card with mobile phone number associated with region of purchase (area. since this behaviour is now quite illegal. So try to load enough credit in your “home” province. texts and data from October 1st. but should be done in a couple of minutes even if you don’t speak the Mandarin. you may instead find banks and lenders cold-calling you advertising personal loans. If your plan allows it. China Mobile will allow you to run an overdraft. Many of the Chinese issues below can be avoided by doing so (online top-up with home country credit/debit card means no one-province-only top-up voucher issues.China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card. SMS and data. From 2015 all providers have also started to roll over unused data allowances in bundles over to the next month. If you return to China at a later day and wish to register and activate another prepaid SIM/phone number. While a 8 in your number means good luck and an extra surcharge. Calls outside the province will have a surcharge again inbound and outbound. Real name registration Edit A real name registration policy for mobile users in China was issued in 2010. you won't be able to change your plan. China Unicom may allow incoming calls even with a zero balance depending on your plan. Their flagship stores are very recommended especially if someone speaks English there. due to sting operations run by local police to catch vendors doing this. You might easily get a SIM card from a retail store on street. you can still enjoy the lower prices that third-party vendors are often able to get. There WeChat is generally preferred to WhatsApp. Data rates are generally low: all providers have lowered their default rate to 60 RMB per GB. Other users reported no problems just to leave without cancelling. Cancellation of prepaid plan is only allowed if your account balance is 25 RMB or less. This depends on the provider. Otherwise the system will draw your balance through monthly plan deductions. this issue can arise if you are activated as a 2 of 8 11/10/17. If you have a Hong Kong SIM. all three sizes of SIM cards are available. Started in 2013. The regional organization of the mobile providers does mean that you have nationwide coverage. no advertising texts) at the cost of somewhat higher prices on voice. for the period when your account is sitting at zero balance prior to your number being released. These are easy to avoid by rejecting calls from numbers starting in 852. On many tariffs local and national data are distinguished. So check locally with your provider about termination. then you also pay to receive calls unless you have a plan that includes it. 12:59 AM . but you still have to go to the service point of the carrier for official registration and activation before using it. as he/she can help you with problems using the service. Some travelers succeeded in topping up not by scratch cards sold all over but to look for the few agencies which provide direct / electronic top-up giving their phone number and paying in cash. Recharge vouchers / top-up cards (充值卡) sold all over the country only work in the province where there are sold! This makes it very annoying for travelers to recharge their SIM cards. Instant messaging has become an usual form of communication in China too. This national roaming exists not only for incoming calls but for data too. This means that for data you can use their default rate. until the balance reaches zero and will release your number 90 days later. The minimum initial credit is 100 RMB and you have to choose a package for service. or you have to ask a local if he can help you. but certain other apps like LINE and KakaoTalk are outright blocked. Specific to China Unicom. which you can’t block. and data (still well below roaming from most other countries). China Mobile has already done so as of September 1. you will be blacklisted and not able to registered future SIMs through the normal proper channels. The registration can lead to some paperwork. So prices are around 60 RMB for unlucky numbers up to 300 RMB for very lucky ones. Running out of credit is not a good idea. and all other carriers are expected to fall in compliance by October 1. do not expect this. and cannot be done over the phone. You will also get the data balance popping on your phone every time it disconnects from the network and this can be quite often.wikia. If you let your SIM/account lapse in this fashion 2 or more times. All calls are charged equally within the province. Also note that carrying a SIM registered to someone else carries the risk of being shut down with no recourse to any lost balance. add/remove services. Start-up prices for the SIM cards can be very variable depending on the number. it’s not recommended to buy a SIM card at airports. but requires registration at point of sale for those SIMs). China's operators don't charge for new basic SIM cards (while a surcharge may be billed for a nano SIM). Further particularities Edit You will get a lot of advertisements. but topping up you SIM card outside of the province where you have bought it can be a formidable task. as your phone may be blocked for incoming calls too. someone will cut it to size for you. Though some shops will still activate your SIM card on someone else's name for a surcharge. McDonald’s or at airports need a verification code to be sent to a Chinese mobile number. text. 2017. What shops may do instead is sell you an unactivated SIM. you may only be able to do this if you look obviously not Chinese. Call costs vary depending on whether you are in or out of the province where you bought and registered the SIM card. around 0. The amount varies depending on your payment history and how long you have been a customer with them. On a lesser note. On the other side. 2017. UPDATE 2017: All three network providers announced to abolish all domestic or inter-provincial roaming fees for calls. notifying you of that fact. Of course you can recharge online on the operator website or use the Taobao platform but all this way accept Chinese credit cards only. so don't call it back. But this is changing. Suspending your plan Edit All 3 major carriers have an unclear cancellation policy. all usage is priced at one national rate. province) like in the USA or Russia. you will be required to pay the 90 days worth of monthly fee of the offending prepaid account. If not. Furthermore. if they have found out. you will not be able to re-register a new SIM/phone number on subsequent visits to China. But you will get calls in the middle of the night as well with only one ring. requiring people to show their national identification card and complete a registration form when purchasing a new SIM card to activate mobile services. you should know that a lot of public access points in places like Starbucks. Both China Mobile and China Unicom sell SIMs in Hong Kong with very reasonably priced data packages that allow access to websites ordinarily not allowed (see censorship) as well as cheap voice calls and texts. this way. Your text messages may also be deleted if you have not stored them before in your phone. Most of those offers no longer provide a mainland number (China Unicom Hong Kong has officially started selling dual-number SIMs again according to their Facebook page. one month earlier than required. although it will be easier to find an English speaker. there are reload agencies on the web.

Search.” and enter the number printed on your voucher or card. You should also change your DNS server to a server ouside of China. China Mobile (中国移动) Edit Normally. Data feature packs Edit In most provinces like Shanghai or Beijing. Their 4G global plans (4G⻜飞享套 ) all include both local voice minutes and mobile data. Prices and composition of the plans vary slightly by province. remember value cards only work within the province: They’ll either be a scratch-off card. It has the most developed 4G/LTE network too. etc. China Unicom) try to sniff and kill the connection if they detect a VPN. In particular Google including Gmail. EasyOwn or a new 4G global plan. So we should make an exception. Google Pixel global version includes full support for China Mobile. as well as generally nationwide free incoming calls and differ between regions. Be aware that an IP card costs about 20 to 25 CNY and has a credit of 100 CNY! Censorship Edit The censorship in China is so widespread and notorious that it needs to be addressed in more detail as it will certainly hamper your internet access and operations. if this ban can be enforced or VPN providers will still find a way to bypass it. For data you will probably get only EDGE speed up to 384 kbit/s. and you'll receive a reply stating how much data you've used and how much is remaining. China Mobile should not be part of the list as it uses a very own and totally incompatible 3G version called TD-SCDMA. dial 138-0013-8000 or 138-0013-8000. it’s by far the biggest operator of the world with more than 800 million customers (that’s more as twice as much as all mobile subscribers in the US on all networks together). In 2015 it had 250 million 4G customers alone. your only option to use the Unicom network going forward is to buy a SIM from Hong Kong or abroad. The usual way to circumvent this blocking.China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card. and there are operators outside China starting to adopt TDD-LTE as well (meaning in the future more devices sold outside the country will support it). including TD-SCDMA and TDD-LTE. Prefix 12593 costs 1 RMB per month but does not require a deposit. All local providers are ordered to effectively block all VPNs and therby close access to many foreign sites. but under other names like Easy Own (神州行= Shénzhōuxínɡ) or MZone ( 动感地带 = Dònggǎn Dìdài). are blocked since it discontinued their cooperation with the Chinese authorities. China Mobile used to sell their prepaid cards not under its own brand name. On the other side. You can check your balance at any time by sending an SMS with the text "ye" to the number 10086. but usual sites like Facebook. you need to activate IDD prefixes. Not only political. that they are not blocked as the Chinese government or operators (esp. Easy Own and MZone Edit In most cities. MZone plans include data allowances for mobile internet and in some provinces for WiFi hotspots with the SSID of "CMCC-WEB" around China. you should download and try out some of them and possibly sign up to and familiarize yourself with one. 2300 MHz (band 40) and 2500 MHz (band 41. then press “1#. It remains to be seen. that's more than the next five 4G providers in the world combined. 12:59 AM . For cheaper international calls. Maps. press “2″ for English. This surveillance normally applies to texts in Mandarin (Chinese) language only and English will not be filtered. VPN use (see above) or VoIP are not feasible on China Mobile on most GSM-devices. which is either a MZone. Here is a manual how to implement a VPN on an iPhone: how to break through the great firewall of China Here are updated lists of best working VPN proxies for China: list #1 list #2 Here is a manual how to change DNS servers and how to avoid China's DNS servers From February 2018 the Chinese government plans a total ban of VPN services in the country. From 2015 China Mobile 4G branded SIM cards are sold in the centers where LTE was launched. Before travelling to China. To add value. This usually requires a deposit and a visit to a China Mobile shop. For 4G 1900 MHz (band 39). Newer phones now often include at least some support for China Mobile TDD-LTE frequencies. For IDD call prices using this prefix. is to use a VPN or proxy app or software. Access to lot of websites is simply blocked.g. The iPhones 6/6+/7 (except those purchased from the major carriers in America) and certain Sony phones sold in Japan (like Xperia ZL2 and Z3) support the 4G used by China Mobile. Access to VoIP (Skype and others) is not restricted and tethering is allowed on all Chinese SIM cards. with free incoming calls (e. Make sure. see here . or a tear-off voucher. So desktop websites. Apple has already removed major VPN apps from its store. new subscribers are now required to pick a base plan first. it is possible to enter a postpaid service agreement without a deposit or a credit card on file even if you are not resident. but again it uses a very Chinese TDD-LTE which is only just starting to be used in a few other countries. compatible with band 38) on TDD-LTE are employed. This is often referred to as “Great Firewall of China”. and have your account set up such that you receive no bill at all. Without doubt. Twitter or YouTube. valid in Beijing and Shanghai and similar to most other places): Price Data Voice 18 RMB 100 MB ---- 28 RMB 100 MB 50 mins 38 RMB 300 MB 50 mins 48 RMB 500 MB 50 mins 58 RMB 500 MB 100 mins 88 RMB 700 MB 220 mins 138 RMB 1 GB 500 mins 158 RMB 2 GB 500 mins 3 of 8 11/10/17. It is unknown yet whether the new dual-number Unicom SIMs that require registration will allow registration of someone who has been previously blacklisted on the mainland.wikia. it has the best network in all provinces and is your first choice for voice and text as theses rates don’t differ so much among the providers. Here is an updated survey of the most important websites that are inaccessible right now in China: Websites blocked in China All social messaging (like WeChat or Whatsapp) and even text messages are screened and monitored for certain terms and can be censored. but often slower. where registration rules don't apply. To be sure to have access to vital sites use an international SIM card (even one from Hong Kong or Macau) on roaming in China as these restrictions don't apply to roaming SIM cards from abroad. not even an electronic bill) so make sure your account status in their system is prepaid (预付费) after activation. resulting in a much better data experience.com/wiki/China postpaid (后付费) customer (with them. you can send an SMS with the text "1091" to 10086. IDD calls Edit Cheap foreign (IDD) calls can be made from landlines using special long-distance value cards called "IP cards" or using VoIP from your mobile if you have a stable 3G/4G connection or a WiFi access. If you have a data plan. If you have been affected by the blacklisting and don't wish to pay. a typical value is 100 RMB for China Mobile.

However. that they should be activated in Hong Kong. It's also available as an app for Android and for iOS More info Edit Query balance. A HK$ 2 administration fee will be deducted monthly. it can be activated from within mainland China with no issue by dialing *#130# on the phone. English available) Website in Mandarin for China Mobile: http://www. There are two ways to log into account management: by SMS verification or by password. and you can choose to resubscribe to a pack or pay the daily rate going forward (an advantage over China Unicom's HK offering). If you can't obtain this SIM.bj.China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card.hk . so even if your device doesn't support these network technologies. Regulations Edit From the end of 2016. They come with some benefits. that if your phone does not support China Mobile's TDD-LTE or TD-SCDMA technology (see China Mobile and Basics above). It can be used at a daily rate of HK$ 48 in HK or China (with 1 GB FUP). APN: cmhk (for HK roaming SIM) China Mobile Customer Service Hotline: 400-120-4000. the daily rate is not available for these two SIMs (you will pay HK$1. If you go over your data pack. direct line to a live person but domestic call rate will be charged Website in English for China Mobile Hong Kong: http://www. you no longer have the option of paying less for 2G access only.cn/index/ China Mobile Hong Kong (for roaming in China) Edit Unlike China Unicom. it's cheaper for using data-only to buy a small package and use excess data instead.5 per MB capped at HK$ 48 daily.prepaid. to conform with mainland registration laws. China Mobile has its own network in Hong Kong. Note that this makes excess data very cheap at 60 RMB per GB. Former one works only if you're in mainland China or Hong Kong.com/wiki/China 238 RMB 2 GB 1000 mins 268 RMB 3 GB 1000 mins 338 RMB 3 GB 2000 mins 588 RMB 6 GB 4000 mins These packages need to be activated in-store or online. Online account management Edit They have an online account management . any services that use SMS to verify).activation: *103*200*04# 1 GB: HK$ 98 .5 GB of HK and mainland data. not mandatory. and being able to top-up with a foreign credit card.hk. Topping up Edit These SIM cards participate in CMHK's top-up bonus scheme. Data from old package rolls forward in this case. This is a suggestion. Voice and data SIM cards Edit 4G/3G China-HK Prepaid SIM Card costs HK$ 120 and comes with HK$ 114 of credit valid for 180 days.wikia. To all the three SIM cards above these roaming packages for 30 days can be added: 200 MB: HK$ 38 . You must unsubscribe from the pack. If you don't wish to register your SIM. Only the 4G/3G SIM is available now. A HK$ 6 adminstration fee per month applies.29 RMB per MB and having reached 60 RMB (at slightly above 200 MB) the rest of up to 1 GB is free. usually being limited to sales on eBay from third parties. if you know Mandarin. The following bonuses apply for online top-ups. However. Other plans and packages may be available according to province.com. skipping registration. If you are transiting Hong Kong on the way to China and have the time to step outside. after signal is received. China roaming data packages can also be activated on these two SIM cards: 4G/3G Individual Traveler Prepaid SIM Card sold at HK$ 68 with HK$ 18 credit and 4G/3G Super Talk Prepaid SIM Card sold at HK$ 48 with HK$ 46 credit. This SIM is HK$ 148 for 1.com/en/ 4 of 8 11/10/17.10086. there is a China Mobile kiosk on the arrivals level at HKG airport. who reload online. In fact. so it must be topped up before expiration for additional use. the initial validity period is only for 10 days.chinamobile. On all plans unused data rolls over to the next month. Overuse fees are only 0. There is one add-on package offered valid for another 10 days: 1 GB: HK$ 100 . You can consult your balance there and refill but you can't buy packages. This SIM is resold and delivered globally by http://www. For details check China Unicom HK offers below. no menus.5 per MB with no cap without a package). Basic data rate is HK$ 1. 12:59 AM . If you use more than 1 GB per day. More info Edit APN: cmnet China Mobile Customer Service Hotline: 10086 (free. only capped at 500 RMB or 15 GB. Any smaller recharge only for 30 days unless previous validity was longer in which case previous validity is kept. However.activation: *103*200*05# 2 GB: HK$ 168 . but will no longer be able to use the mainland number (and thus. this doesn't prevent them from selling their own roaming SIMs for mainland China out of Hong Kong. all 4G/3G SIMs now have an FUP on the daily unlimited rate. Take care. both money and megabytes: dial *#130# . which can be done with a Visa or MasterCard issued from any country: HK$ 30-49 for a 5% bonus HK$ 50-199 for a 15% bonus HK$ 200-299 for a 20% + HK$ 10 bonus >HK$ 300 for a 30% + HK$ 10 bonus Every top-up of HKD 50 or more extends validity for 180 days since day of top-up. Additionally. you're switched to daily rate.activation: *103*200*06# Additionally. Restrictions Edit Do note. All CMHK SIM cards state on the packaging. existing dual-number SIM cards will need to be registered while in HK. So if you want to keep your SIM alive outside of China it's recommended to create a password by clicking "prepaid SIM registration" on account management. you will be notified by SMS and your internet access will be shut off. voice and text are charged at higher rates. like bypassing the Great Firewall. Data-only SIM card Edit For data only they offer a 4G/3G China 10-day Data Prepaid SIM Card to be used in both HK and mainland China. but if you don't plan on going to HK first.activation: *103*200*07# You can buy new package before the old one is used up. their roaming SIMs are harder to find online. you will continue to be able to use your Hong Kong number. China Mobile HK offers a bonus scheme for users. it won't be able to access 4G or 3G in mainland China. China Mobile reserves the right to throttle your connection to not less than 128 kbps. registration details will be shared with mainland China authorities. If you run out of package data. there is a bonus of unlimited data in HK for exactly 24 hours upon activation (you will get SMS confirmation of expiry time). No new SIMs with mainland number are sold anymore.

Once enabled. search on Yahoo or Bing to find the nearest store. for 100-200 MB extra 60 RMB in total.15 RMB per min for a call and only 60 RMB for 1 GB of data. as it pays back only slowly in the following months. Topping up Edit China Unicom claims to have released a nationwide refill card.wikia. there is no further charge from 200 MB to 1 GB. they like to see a deposit. They started FDD-LTE on 1800 MHz in some city centers in 2014. 4G Data-only / Web Surfing Pass (4G 上网卡) Edit This is a data-only SIM directed to modems. Ask when you activate. Keep in mind.8 RMB. your account is required to stay dormant for a minimum of 3 billing months. China Unicom offers unlimited talk and data (SMS is charged) plans under the name "Ice Cream Plan". 12:59 AM . they charge 30 RMB. When observing in-store advertising. This means that if you opened your account on May 29. So bring a hotel card with an address along. Remember the value pack has a recurring billing cycle. Europe or Australia (see Basics chapter).China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card. When your account is dormant." If you enter a Unicom shop and ask for a SIM. tablets. For IDD call prices using 17911. For cheap international calls you need to activate IDD prefixes. try to get a 4G value pack as China Unicom's 4G network already covers most areas in mainland China. So the larger combo packages only make sense.g. they offer the widest compatibility with devices from other parts of Asia. rather than building up more 3G coverage.1 RMB and an international SMS at 0. note that they will be advertised with lower prices. "Ice Cream" (Unlimited) Plan (冰激凌套 ) Edit In certain cities. If your phone supports LTE 1800 MHz (band 3). they will most likely provide you with a WO card. A lot of users however were not able to top-up outside the province the SIM card is attached too. a certain amount of full-speed data is included. 40GB national full-speed. on the 1st day of each month. For more data better use the cheap default rate and don’t buy a larger pack. and a 1 GB data package (of unspecified duration) with 80 minutes of local calling costs 100 RMB. throttled to 7.com/wiki/China China Unicom (中国联通) Edit China Unicom is the 2nd provider in the country and should be your preferred choice for data as it’s the only one that uses 3G UMTS up to HSPA+ speed on 2100 MHz like used in most other places in Asia. This scheme is repeated for every GB used additionally resulting in an overuse fee of no more than 60 RMB per GB. In 2015 the focused on their 4G expansion. The reason this plan is still called "unlimited" is because data is re-enabled for another 100GB at no extra cost by calling customer service when this happens. Like "unlimited" plans in many countries. A domestic SMS or MMS is at 0. but it has no voice nor text. in advance. For example. a service fee of 5 RMB is deducted on the 1st day of each month. So try it with a small amount (e. They work immediately with any phone. in Shanghai the following types of "Ice Cream Plan" are offered: 199RMB: 700 national minutes. but it is difficult to understand how to activate another data package as opposed to pay-per-use rates (which do not appear to be capped at 60 RMB/GB like the regular Unicom ones are).2Mbps after Note that China Unicom shuts off data after 100GB usage in a month. As of September 2016. It is a one-off prepaid card without any obligations with 5 GB national data valid for one year sold at ¥ 480 (link ) often discounted to double data. that China Unicom’s billing cycle begins on the 1st day of each month regardless of the day on which you opened your account. Dormant mode gives you the option to preserve your +186 number in China while you are away from the country and reactivate your SIM immediately upon return. Beyond. Depending on the plan. see here . You dial 10010 to change these options. This plan is officially a “contract” and you should obey the termination rules given in the Basics chapter. as for all higher monthly packages. Recharging credit is easy using the automated kiosks in Unicom stores. You can use it in phones too. Balances can be checked by texting "tycl" to 10010 (and then translating from Chinese). WO Edit China Unicom shops are now mostly co-branded with Unicom's subsidiary "WO. Europe and Australia. that is commonly used for LTE in other countries too. Note that some of these SIM cards distinguish national and provincial data. and customer service handles requests in English. and is throttled after. routers and MiFi's for heavy data volumes in 3G and 4G/LTE. it will not work in China. These monthly plans are offered: Voice Data Price 200 mins 400 MB 76 RMB 300 mins 800 MB 106 RMB 1 GB 136 RMB 500 mins 2 GB 166 RMB 3 GB 196 RMB 1000 mins 4 GB 296 RMB 2000 mins 6 GB 396 RMB 3000 mins 11 GB 596 RMB While it has an included monthly allowance for national data and outgoing calls and free incoming calls. You are supposed to give a local address. 40GB local. 5 of 8 11/10/17. if you use a lot of domestic calls too. Extra data is capped at 15 GB and then shut off. and a new billing cycle still begins on June 1. 3GB national full-speed. Their coverage is not as good as China Mobile’s but still reasonable and sufficient. it has very low overuse/default rates: 0. and prices will not match the prices quoted above in this article. For temporary visitors of China. and does not make sense for the average short-term visitor. a WO SIM at an official Unicom/WO store costs 75 RMB. 4G value packs also offer an option to switch the account to dormant mode when you leave the country. you may have the option. Especially. to pay only half the monthly fee to get only half of your plan allowances for the first month. It's recommended to buy their SIM cards in their shops or small mobile outlets with registration (see Basics). 20 RMB) first if it really works. These data SIM cards will now be registered too and you need to show your passport. This is only after depositing a larger amount of credit into the account. you will be billed immediately a full month’s worth of charges for services between May 29 and 31. 4G value pack (4G 套 ) Edit This is their universal monthly voice and data SIM plan valid nationwide in China. There are other offers too depending on province. Also if you buy the refill code online on HK website. though. throttled to 3Mbps after 399RMB: unlimited talk. tablet or laptop. As Google Maps are currently blocked in China. You add credit to your China Unicom account and fees will be deducted. Their extra data rate is worth checking more closely: For 0-100 MB extra. in such a case. which is inconvenient. You get the local bonus only in the province associated with the SIM card (see Basics chapter). Still.

makes it much easier to order Chinese SIM cards. This also applies to the new dual-number SIMs that China Unicom has started selling in Hong Kong again. During the checkout process a copy of passport page is required for official registration that they will do for you. They sell roaming SIMs that work in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.99 Additional data is 0.com China Unicom Hong Kong (for roaming in China) Edit China Unicom also operates a MVNO in Hong Kong. often discounted to HK$ 101 with HK$ 80 credit valid for 90 days from the date of activation. allowing through the “Great Firewall of China” (see Basics).activation: *118*611# 1 GB for for 30 days: HK$118 . UK. but comes with high surchages for their service. Lyvcom re-sells China Unicom's network in up to 4G/LTE speed and are valid for 90 days: 1 GB: US$ 25 2 GB: US$ 40 6 GB: US$ 75 Additional data is 0. Hong Kong offers Edit For voice and data in Hong Kong and mainland China they offer the Cross Border King 4G HongKong SIM for HK$ 138. etc. They send China Unicom Prepaid 4G SIM cards (valid for 30 days) & Pay As You Go SIM (valid for years) from mainland China (not HK) to any place in China and abroad and do top-ups too. If subscribers do not provide the required information or give their consent about transfer of such information. They sell China Unicom SIM cards abroad through the websites of Amazon US . You can skip registration for the Hong Kong number cards too. We mention three companies here below. Pay As You Go SIM 1 GB: US$ 29.China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card.activation: *118*504# 6 of 8 11/10/17.99 6 GB: US$ 86. These packages are offered on 4G/LTE up to 300 Mbps in all three sizes: 2 GB for 30 days: US$ 30 3 GB and 50 local mins for 90 days: US$ 42. The necessary real name registration (see below) can be made on their website too. Canada. Vouchers from any province will work. 12:59 AM .99 3 GB: US$ 44. dual-number SIM cards need to be activated with a copy of passport and this has to be done in HK in person: see here The HK regulator has issued a consumer alert about dual number SIMs.com/tp/ . but the HKD conversion happens at a 1:1 rate. Germany. Standard rate is a high HK$ 0. Macau.99 Additional data is 0. Detail instruction will be sent to you via Amazon messaging center once your make your order. They will be delivered from China to your home country.30 CNY per MB. making the purchase and top-up process much easier than with mainland-based service. This also conveniently avoids the issue of out-of-province top-ups since it's all done online. IDD calls are possible. It's valid in mainland China. One reason to get a SIM in Hong Kong instead of mainland China is because a China Unicom HK SIM will pass all data through Hong Kong. they must be purchased at a China Unicom store and must be registered at point of sale.50 6 GB and 50 local mins for 90 days: US$ 77. All incoming calls and texts are free. Be aware that data added via other channels except mychinaunicom. which you can't do with a mainland SIM.99 6 GB: US$ 69. The China Unicom Hong Kong website is now in English.20 CNY per MB. Various resellers market the SIM cards of China Unicom abroad.20 CNY per MB. US. use of the mainland mobile numbers may be suspended.99 2 GB: US$ 34. Prepaid 4G SIM: 1 GB: US$ 24.99 3 GB: US$ 49. meaning you lose over HK$ 20 per 100 RMB topped up. HK operators need to collect personal information and to obtain their consent to transfer the information to mobile operators and authorities in the mainland in order to enable them to continue the use of the mainland mobile numbers.com may not be workable and may even suspend the card. After you order your SIM card.com or eBay. Amazon order ID. Hong Kong. However these cards need to be purchased before travelling to mainland China in Hong Kong or online out of Hong Kong as they are not available in mainland China. Taiwan and Japan. France. but the dual-number SIMs (officially available once again as of August 29. It contains 50 local call mins or 100 texts.10010. Lyvcom Edit Lyvcom is an authorized distributor of China Unicom for selling into international visitor market segments in China and overseas.activation: *118*610# 500 MB for 30 days: HK$ 68 . Extensions are sold too. Only use mainland recharge vouchers as a last resort with a Hong Kong SIM. They are available with free international delivery. Another reason is to be able to add money using a foreign Visa/MasterCard or PayPal at http://www. This does not affect your ability to access any websites. which only starts when you actually use the SIM card and it will be valid for 90 days from first use.com/wiki/China If you fail.wikia. The activation process won't shorten SIM card validation period.02 per kb (= HK$ 20 per MB) capped at HK$ 68 per day. you can ask a Chinese friend to load it on their website with a Chinese credit card. Regulations Edit Unlike regular Hong Kong SIM cards.50 More info Edit APN: 3gnet Customer Service (in English available): 10010 Website in Mandarin only: http://4g. phone number of the SIM card holder. Russia. Spain and Italy with worldwide delivery for a premium. Germany. Delivery time will vary and a shipping fee is added to some countries. your must email: passport information. SIM Easy Edit SIM Easy has partnered with China Unicom to sell similar SIM cards with preloaded 3G/4G data packages abroad. 2017) must be registered at time of purchase. starting 2016. This gives you the advantage of an English-speaking support and a working option from the start. 3G SOLUTIONS Edit 3G SOLUTIONS is a reputable company which markets the products of China Unicom abroad for years. For compliance with regulations in the mainland. They also sell it through other platforms like Amazon.cugstore. These packages are available for Hong Kong and mainland China: 300 MB for 7 days: HK$ 48 . try to find a location which is able to make a direct (electronic) top-up or use one of the internet agencies which do top ups for a surcharge like ezetop or worldremit and others. Their new online shop now available in English with sites for the UK.

you might also think of getting a CDMA USB-dongle or MiFi for data which is available for a few hundred RMBs.com/wiki/China However. When you have exhausted the data in the package. there is no movement to make single-month cards more widely available. For other products. Be careful. More info Edit APN: ctnet Customer Hotline (in English available.com China Telecom (中国电信) Edit Network Edit China Telecom uses CDMA (and thus EVDO for 3G) like (Sprint and Verizon) in the US and in a few other Asian countries.cuniq. Do note. If you want LTE you need support for bands 1.html . You also need to check that your device supports CDMA BC0. Single- month SIMs are available. the store may or may not be willing to activate it for you with a staff-provided ID card.500 MB another 30 RMB and no charge from 500 MB to 1 GB. Furthermore.20. It's applied at activation and on each 1st day of the calendar month again. however. some China Telecom stores. These SIM cards are nationwide data-only and on 2G (CDMA). If you do not plan on leaving a major city and only need data. Data feature packs Edit 4G data plans that are sold by usage typically don't sell data on a rolling monthly basis. China Telecom runs an LTE network that is compatible with most devices sold overseas. As a consequence.40. this method is no longer available to visitors (purchasing mobile phone service online now requires real-time identity verification using a system that only functions with Chinese ID).8 per MB as long as a package is running. this card includes an increased monthly administration fee of HK$ 6. they have different data-only SIM cards for China:  China & HK 7 Days 1GB Data SIM : HK$ 95 with 1 GB for 7 days 4G China & HK 7 Days 2GB Data SIM : HK$ 108 with 2 GB for 7 days Greater China 30 Days Data SIM : HK$ 140 with 1 GB for 30 days You can recharge by credit card or HK$ 100 vouchers available in 7-Eleven stores in HK for another 1 or 2 GB within 7 days at HK$ 100. if you stay for longer in China. capped at 600 RMB or 15 GB. allowing for more flexible usage. Finally. where available. iPad Air and newer will also function with China Telecom for data only. The first 100 MB is charged at 0. the plan will typically leave little credit after the monthly plan charge is deducted. China Telecom has the smallest network with a market share of around 14 %. 12:59 AM .China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card.  More info Edit APN: 3gnet Customer Service (in English available): 13068400177 for CU Hong Kong SIMs Website in English for CU Hong Kong SIMs: https://www. With these rates being much lower than on the two major players.  They also offer SIM cards that are only valid for Guangdong province and Hong Kong (see website). which is incompatible with GSM-devices (see above). if you are lucky): 10000 Website in Mandarin: http://www. you will get a text message informing you. but not easy to find. Overuse fee is HK$ 0. Deposit required varies from 50 to 900 RMB depending on desired plan but monthly charges can be taken from this. Overuse fees are at a low 60 RMB per GB. China Telecom will most likely be a better deal. Unfortunately. Purchasing a SIM from a smaller shop officially requires the buyer to take the SIM to a store for activation if they do not posess a Chinese citizen ID card. iPhone 5 and newer from Verizon and Nexus 5X/6P and iPhone 6 and newer from all carriers will also function with China Telecom without modification. 3G (EVDO) and 4G (LTE) too and on their (unlimited) Wi-Fi.even in big cities like Shanghai. even if they were made for GSM carriers. even in busy parts of town may ask you to go to one of the largest main locations in the city center for registration. the deposit with China Telecom is not refundable. only devices with both LTE and CDMA support as well as some older CDMA-only devices with SIM/R-UIM slots are capable of using their network for voice and text. They will be cancelled on the 8th or 31st day at midnight and doesn't auto-renew. However. Start-up and availability Edit Overseas visitors requiring Chinese prepaid SIM cards will need to show a passport only when buying at an official China Telecom location. You can then start a new package if you have sufficient credit in your account.cn Roaming SIM cards from abroad Edit 7 of 8 11/10/17. Price Data Validity 50 RMB 1 GB 100 RMB 3 GB 30 days 180 RMB 6 GB 100 RMB 2 GB 90 days 200 RMB 4 GB 300 RMB 6 GB 180 days 600 RMB 12 GB 365 days Product link: http://www. and most third-party vendors will want to push multi-month packs on you instead. that only LTE- capable CDMA devices will completely function upon insertion of a China Telecom R-UIM. To use LTE you don't need your device to be compatible with their CDMA network but without it you would be limited to LTE coverage.cn/products/0609326550. however. Their reliance on R-UIMs instead of the traditional North American method of storing programming data in the phone means that from overseas. Asking for 'data only SIM-cards' may confuse the Telecom sales people. Older Verizon and most Sprint phones without card slots can be made to function on the network.189.41.3. Also note that not every China Telecom store can activate SIM cards for foreigners. This is repeated for every additional GB.189.3 RMB/MB. You need to provide your passport and a phone number (ideally for your hotel) and the process can be more time consuming than expected. Instead ask for "internet card" (liu liang ka) or print out the offer above. check their website . it has lower-priced plans and a long-standing practice of offering significant amounts of bonus credit with new subscriptions to attract more customers. 100 MB . older Android handsets will only function with voice and text without additional software modification. but instead a certain amount of data good for a set amount of time. For customers with compatible phones or tablets.wikia.

wikia.wikia. They offer unlimited 4G data at very good rates and access to websites restricted by the Great Firewall. they offer unlimited VPN service is available for surfing to access blocked site (Google. Furthermore. You might place order online and arrange pickup/drop-off in your hotel. Purchasing/Renting a Phone or Portable WiFi with data SIM Edit UCOM Mobile Edit http://www. 12:59 AM . The best offer is given out from TravelSIM and their clones and copies based on an Estonian platform like AirBaltic card and others: 5 GB roaming data for 30 days: € 25 Check theirs and other offers from international roaming providers in our all countries section. but skip also Chinese censorship and are easily expandable in volume and time.com/wiki/China?oldid=40719" Categories: Asia Country CDMA 3/17 Add category 8 of 8 11/10/17. Another good options are from the Ukraine: Kyivstar 100 MB per day at UAH 60 or Lifecell with 100 MB per day at UAH 55.China | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia http://prepaid-data-sim-card.) from China. They offer u and pay-as-you-go plans with with 3 or 6 GB for short-term visitor at very high prices. Klook Portable WiFi Rentals for travellers coming from Hong Kong or Taiwan Edit These portable WiFi rentals are available for travellers coming from either of these countries via Hong Kong International Airport or Taiwan Airports. Hong Kong pickup : HK$ 25 per day with 'unlimited' 4G speeds Taiwan Pickup (at all airports) : TW$ 239 per day with 500 MB 4G speeds Retrieved from "http://prepaid-data-sim-card.com/wiki/China Recently more options have become available from providers out of China that offer you reasonable roaming. You must book the router in advance and can pay using international credit cards or PayPal. For details check here. They are more expensive than local SIM cards and possibly HK SIM cards too.com They provide portable WiFi rental & prepaid data SIM sale in China mainland. The routers can be picked up and dropped off at the same airport they were picked up.ucomobile. Facebook etc.