Tips for Buying China Mobile Phone While in China

China is the largest mobile phone market in the world. You will need a China mobile phone to get around. There are lots of options and a few different companies that offer services.

What is the best option for mobile service, pre-paid or post-paid?

The process is a lot easier compared to a plan ( post-paid). You could get a China mobile phone anywhere in the city -- almost all electronics stores sell them. If price is your main concern, always shop around. At the time of your purchase you’ll get your China cell phone number (randomly chosen, or you could spend extra cash for a designated number) and some prepaid airtime.

However, in some Chinese cities, there is the strict limitation for foreign travelers. If you want to apply for an international call service, the limitation is: You need go to the China Mobile Communication Hall to do solid registration, which we also call it as IDD Authentication. You need to have a Chinese friend or Chinese relative so that they can lend the ID to you to make an IDD authentication. You need keep the copy of your passport of SIM card. You must have a deposit in your SIM credit account. If you buy IP units to make international calls, there is no need to activate international call function on your China SIM card.

China Mobile policy verys in different cities and changes from time to time. We suggest that you contact youe local China Mobile branch in advance.

If you need a China cell phones with an international call function, here are China cell phones including the international call function.

Many people use pre-paid service on their China mobile phone because of the service is convenience - it can be used anywhere in China and, because you pay in advance, there is no bill.

Some people use post-paid service because of the post-paid – the line will not be cut off and, because you pay after bill received at your China address, you can check the detailed calling list. The calling list is in Chinese language only.


Can China mobile phone has international roaming function ?

If you want to have international roaming function on your China cell phone, it needs you to activate it. For foreign travelers, it is a bit of difficult to apply it by themselves for the strict limitation of China Mobile.

For instance, applications in Shanghai only can be lodged after three months - your China phone number is registered at one of the China Mobile branches. Meantime, you must have a deposit from 400RMB to 600RMB in your SIM credit account.

China Mobile policy verys in different cities and changes from time to time. We suggest that you contact youe local China Mobile branch in advance.


What is the best option for types of mobile phone, GSM or CDMA, dual band or tri-band ?

If you buy a CDMA phone you will only be able to use it within China and can't use internationally, which you could do with the right GSM handset.

GSM in Asia will not work in the US unless you get a tri-band phone or a quad band phone. Asia GSM is 900/1800 MHz and the US is 1900 MHz.

Asia GSM (900/1800 MHz) phone does not work in Japan and Korea.

The most China mobile phone is unlocked.



More Service for Your International Trip:

PC Aircard

China Call Card

China SIM Card

China GPRS Enabled SIM Card

Low International Call Service


Return from Tips for Buying China Mobile Phone in China to China Mobile Phones


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