So you should try to get a local SIM card when you get here The 3 biggest cellphone service providers we have in China are: China Mobile the biggest , China Unicom the best , and China Telecom terrible. Of these, I think China Unicom have the best plans for international visitors as they're cheaper, have great coverage and speed, and they work with most non-Chinese handsets whereas some non-Chinese iPhones may not work on China Mobile's 4G network The the airport is NOT the cheapest place to buy SIM cards and I recommend you getting them at one of the Unicom branches in the city.
The downside of getting them in the city is more hassle since there won't be many employees that can speak good English The upside of getting it at the airport is convenience. There's a white counter located inside the luggage claim area before you exit into the non-secure area that has "SIM Card" written on it. It already has a Chinese SIM card with a phone number, messaging and data plan.
The moment you land in China, you have a phone that works! I recommend the CellularAbroad service to rent a phone in China for a reasonable rate. This is a simple device that connects to global networks and acts as a mobile WiFi network. You pay either by the day or the month. An example of this global wifi would be something like Skyroam , a service that allows you to either rent or buy your global wifi device.
As with countries all over the world, most airports, coffee shops and shopping centers offer free Wi-Fi. There is a catch, though. In most cases you will be required to provide a code sent to you via text message. The Wi-Fi option is free, but I caution travelers to consider the frustration and cost in time. Renting a phone or getting a Chinese SIM card is much more convenient and allows you consistent access to your maps, internet and messaging. Going through this checklist should give you peace of mind knowing that everything is going to work once you land in China.
Remember, a lot of travelers avoid the headache of trying to get a phone working by renting a phone. Have you used your phone in China? What was the best way for you to connect to the internet? What do I wish I had known before coming to China? These simple but often overlooked tips could make or break your trip!
Download the Tips Here. Josh is the founder of TravelChinaCheaper. Over that period of time he has traveled by plane, train, car, motorcycle and even camel to explore almost every corner of the country.
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Hi josh, great info Can u share the website of how to get to china by train from hongkong or shenzhen. Thank You for this great information. I plan to visit China in a few weeks. I will try to get my telephone unlocked by TMobile.
At least that has been my experience…. Hey Alex, thanks for pointing that out.
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I was able to access my non gmail email accounts and text at. Both have worked fine. My cell phone with T-Mobile worked just fine in May I had taken an old IPhone to purchase a sim card in China but was unsuccessful in purchasing one in China. So I e-mailed T-Mobile and they said that my other phone would work fine at. I had to set up a yahoo e-mail account as g-mail, facebook is not allowed.
Hope this helps. I do have one question about visas. I keep reading that I need a Letter of Invitation from the person I am visiting. Fact or fiction? This will be my first trip and I hope to make many more. China has always fascinated me and I hope to make several trips. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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Menu Skip to content. Android tablets with cellular data capability e. A 1, 2, MHz yes China Unicom: Prepaid 3G Service Plans Before you begin shopping for 3G service options, you need to be aware of two sources of confusion: 1 many local retail shops have China Unicom logos on display but offer only a selection of available services; and 2 the corporate website, www.
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