china mobile

Guide to Getting a SIM Card in China for your Phone 2019

Chinese Mobile Carriers

For long-term living in China, I recommend setting up a phone plan. In China, there are 3 major mobile carriers available. Out of those three providers, I personally recommend these two mobile providers: China Mobile or China Telecom. Please see if these carriers are offering any promotional deals or events when you are in China to maximize your value.

Requirements for setting up Phone Plan in China

  1. Your Passport
  2. An Address even work address may be acceptable
  3. Cash for down payment deposit, all carriers offer annual plans to consumers.
  4. A Local Chinese Speaker, I highly recommend bringing a Chinese speaker because many agents do not speak English.

China Mobile Services

1.China Mobile (GSM – TD-SCDMA)

China Mobile SIM Card

The advantage of China Mobile is that it is considered to have the best service coverage compared to the other 2.

2.China Telecom (CDMA – CDMA2000)

China Telecom SIM Card

The advantage of China Telecom is that it is considered to have the best internet service.

3.China Unicom (GSM – WCDMA)

I was told to not use this carrier therefore, I am not able to review it.

Cost of Using A Phones in China

Most basic phone plans in China cost around 50 RMB per month. There can be variation in this cost based on where you’re from. For example, the cost for a mobile phone plan in Chongqing (where I live) is approximately 100 – 200 RMB per month.

Mobile Phone Plans & Perks in China

As I have the family package which provides me access to unlimited data usage nationwide, 3 phone numbers for 3 different devices, call, text, and unlimited home internet.

In China, many mobile carriers offer free unlimited bandwidth internet usage and provide a modem router hybrid for its customers who sign up for a phone plan.

Internet Modem Router Hybrid

You will have a technician who will visit your home to set up this internet modem router hybrid device.

How to make monthly payments to your mobile carriers in China

All 3 methods require that you have a bank account set up with online payment functionalities enabled by your bank provider.

  1. You can make payments via Alipay, under utilities, and navigate to the telephone icon for payment instructions.

    AliPay Utilities

  2. You can make payments via Wechat, Wallet and Mobile Top Up

    Wechat Mobile Top Up

  3. Download the carrier’s app and pay via the app

    Mobile Carrier App

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to get a mobile phone plan in China. Please leave a comment if you have any questions and remember to apply for english teaching jobs in China today! Our job board is updated daily with the highest quality job postings available.

Kind Regards



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