Chinese SIM Card

All about China. Expert: bwv812
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Aleco
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:22 pm
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Chinese SIM Card

Post by Aleco »

Is it possible to get a sim card in china, for mobile phone\data traffic?

If yes, any suggestions?

Thank you!
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Pamirski
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by Pamirski »

In 2013 I got one through a friend.
Like this year in Iran it was necessary, that someone with a registered adress buys the sim card, but then it was fine.$
Most probably in China it will be harder just to ask a stranger (like we did in Iran).
Great coverage even in quite isolated areas in Qinghai.
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Gnees
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:27 am
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by Gnees »

You should be able to get a sim card with China Unicom, just use your passport to open an account with them. Last week, I just helped a friend get one who was visiting me in Xi'an. You can just ask for a 1 month plan and choose how much data/calling minutes you want. I think she paid 70 RMB for the month with 200 calling minutes and maybe 600-700 MB data. I could be wrong on those numbers, though. I can't remember exactly how much she got. Then as long as you don't go over that amount, they will just cancel your account at the end of the month. If go over that, just pick up a "charging card" (chong zhi ka) and you can add more money to it.

China Mobile seems to not be letting foreigners open an account with their passport. They told me you have to have a Chinese ID card to get a sim card. I would go with China Unicom, but that's just my experience in Xi'an.
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Aleco
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:22 pm
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by Aleco »

Pamirski wrote:In 2013 I got one through a friend.
Like this year in Iran it was necessary, that someone with a registered adress buys the sim card, but then it was fine.$
Most probably in China it will be harder just to ask a stranger (like we did in Iran).
Great coverage even in quite isolated areas in Qinghai.
Thanks. But not really true about Iran: I got one very easily this year in June without any problem, by myself and with my passport. Was quick and easy.
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SPR11
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:11 pm
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by SPR11 »

You can get a China Unicom SIM card for sure. You wil have to go to their main office in a city though, since only there can they process your passport. You can't get a new SIM card at one of the small stalls.

Only problem is that in some places you can only get a SIM card for the region (and sometimes even city) you're in. The moment you leave that region the SIM card will be void. So if you're traveling all over the place, make sure to get a SIM card that works where you want to go. Your best bet is to get help from someone who speaks mandarin.
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Ramblings about our Asian journies at www.lostwithpurpose.com
There's some useful info too.

cyril
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:08 am
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by cyril »

I have a China Unicom sim card, bought in Xinjiang. 200CNY for the Sim and monthly 80CNY for 3GB of data. It seems to work everywhere there is Unicom coverage.
I cycled in Qinghai from Xining to Yushu following the new highway and always got coverage. I then started to follow the S217 in Sichuan and there Unicom is only in cities, no network in between. China Mobile seems to be available everywhere though. I'm currently in Litang, Sichuan so this is live info :)

If you stick to cities, go Unicom. Else you might want to find a nice Chinese person to get you a China Mobile sim card for you.
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carabruan
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:30 pm
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Re: Chinese SIM Card

Post by carabruan »

We bought a chinese SIM Card from China Mobile. We were told, it is the only company that sells SIM Cards, which are usable in whole China (not only in one province). You need your passport. Not all the shops can sell a SIM card to foreigners, but it is easy to find a big store from China Mobile, they usually can do it. We bought the first SIM Card in Kashgar, renewed in Chengdu and just a few days ago in Litang. We bought a SIM Card valid for one month with internet access. So every month, we can put on some money. There are different offers, just choose the one that fits your needs. Recommendation: the first time you buy the card, go with a chinese speaking person to the shop, no one speaks english in the mobile shops!
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