Best Local SIM Cards for China in 2023

Table of Contents

If you are planning a short or long term trip to China, be sure to plan on buying a local SIM card. With a local SIM card, you can use your mobile device in China, and if you know how best to use the card, you can keep your activities secret.

You can call your local contacts, hail a cab, call your hotel, or contact other local services you might need unexpectedly. You can also stay online while on the go. Remember that you may still be able to use your mobile carrier’s SIM card in China.

However, if you check how much you have to pay for minutes and data, you will find that using a SIM card abroad costs a lot of money. Therefore, using a local card can also save you a lot of money.

However, if you use a Chinese SIM card, you will have to deal with a whole new problem: blocking your favorite websites and apps. That’s why we will not only recommend you the best SIM cards, but also show you how to get free Internet access in China.

Let’s start with where you can safely buy a reliable local SIM card, either before your trip or after you arrive in China.

China Telecom

Telecom is the smallest telecom operator in the country. It often has great deals to attract new subscribers, so you can take advantage of this. Please note that if you are a tourist, you will need to show your passport if you want to buy a SIM card from this company. All China Telecom SIM cards may only be purchased from the official store and cannot be activated elsewhere.

For the purchase of all previous SIM cards and tariffs, you will need to show your passport as the only proof of identity while in China, so remember to have it with you at all times. Being online while in a city or country is one of the most important parts of traveling today. Technology is a very important part of our daily lives and we need to stay connected at all times, no matter how far away we are.

Traveling to an Asian country like China can sometimes be difficult due to language barriers, different customs, etc., but if you choose the best China prepaid SIM card, we are sure you will have a great experience! We hope this information is useful for you and you can travel better now.

China Unicom

China Unicom SIM cards offer good data, plenty of SMS access, and a few minutes of talk time at a great price. These plans usually don’t expire, which means that after you pay for the card, you don’t have to use the full limit until the end of the month. You can also have the card delivered to most hotels in Chinese cities for free.

These are the most common China Unicom SIM cards available at officially licensed Unicom stores and newsagents across China. If you exceed any limits, especially for data usage, you can pay a small fee to extend the limit, usually about $9 per GB.

  • 500 MB of data with 100 minutes of talk time
  • 800 MB of data, 200 minutes of talk time
  • 11 GB of data, 3,000 minutes of talk time

Another popular option for China Unicom’s prepaid SIM cards is basic 4G access with full voice and data support. This basic service offers 50 minutes of talk time, 240 outgoing SMS, 300 MB of fast data, and free incoming calls/SMS. Additional data is billed in MB or 100MB increments, which is a good option for those who don’t know how much data they’ll use while traveling.

China Mobile

China Mobile’s SIM card covers mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. China Mobile offers a range of SIM cards depending on what you need during your travels. These include voice calls to Hong Kong, call forwarding services, conference call services, mobile data services and more.

China Mobile SIM cards can be purchased in a variety of ways, including China Mobile stores, retail stores and telecom product stores, or retail outlets. With all these different options, you can either plan ahead and buy your mobile needs or just go with the flow and buy a SIM card on the spur of the moment while walking the streets of Beijing.

There are prepaid SIM services available for travelers depending on the length of stay, country of origin, and the place in China you plan to travel. Users can purchase services ranging from 2G to 4G. The outbound SIM service for Americans and Canadians can be used in the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong and offers up to 50 minutes of local talk time, as well as connections to all social networks and websites in Hong Kong and more.

How to Recharge your China Simcard

It can be easy to run into a situation where you run out of phone or data credit, can’t make calls or send text messages, and have no internet access.

There are several ways to “top up” your China SIM card when you run out of credit.

  • Refill at your local store: You can go to any mobile operator’s store and hand them your phone number and cash. They will take this as an indication that you need extra credit for your Chinese SIM card. This method always works, but it can take quite a while depending on the line.
  • Use Alipay or WeChat Pay to top up: Although this is probably the easiest and fastest method, you will need a local Chinese bank account or money from your Alipay/WeChat Pay wallet to top up. If you don’t have a Chinese bank account, you can always give your Chinese friends some cash and they can top up your Chinese SIM card.
  • You can sign up on their website: choose the amount of balance you want to top up, and pay by Alipay or credit card.


This article contains a lot of information and can be a bit difficult to digest. This section has outlined some of the main points discussed.

  • You will need to register your passport to activate your SIM card in China.
  • There are internet restrictions in China, so it’s worth buying a VPN before you travel
  • Your phone must be unlocked (check here:
  • Not all phones are compatible with the Chinese network (check here:
  • The easiest way to access your mobile data (without destroying it) is to buy a SIM card online before you go.
  • To choose the best SIM card for you, you need to take into account how long you will stay in China, whether you will travel to other countries, and how you will use your phone.


Bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency without a central bank or a single custodian, and it can be sent between users via the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network without intermediaries. Check out Best VPN to buy with Cryptocyrrency and bitcoin.









SAVE 63%



SAVE 49%



SAVE 81%