China Mobile SIM Card FAQ


Is this a real China Mobile SIM card or a virtual SIM card?Who is the network provider?

Can I use this Chinese mobile phone number for China bank account or other real name registration?

How do I register the SIM card?

How do I activate the SIM card?

How can I check the balance?

How long is its valid period? Can I extend validation?

How do I top up my number?

What is roaming rates in other countries?

More details about the product and service?

How to order the card?

china mobile sim card faq

Is this a real China mobile number or a virtual number?Who is the network provider?

This is a real SIM card from the carrier China Unicom. For China virtual SIM card, please visit here.

I am a German citizen, can I use this Chinese mobile phone number for Alipay, Tiktok and other real name registration?

Yes. Please be noted that only SIM cards linked to your passport can apply for bank account, health QR code, WeChat pay and Alipay.

How to register the China SIM card?

According Chinese government regulations, there are a few documents needed to register the SIM card. Please email the following to us after you received the item. Then, we will register the SIM card under your name.

For foreign passport holders:

  • A colour photo of a passport front page
  • A selfie picture holding the SIM card (display the number side)
  • A signed agreement

For Chinese passport holders:

  • A colour photo of a passport front page
  • A copy of visa
  • A selfie picture holding the SIM card (display the number side)
  • A signed agreement

Because our SIM cards are tailored to meet foreign visitor’s needs, including overseas Chinese, most China Unicom retail stores or customer service at 10010 won’t have sufficient information to assist you, please contact us via email directly if you need any assistance.

How to activate the SIM card?

After the SIM card is registered, please activate the SIM card by inserting it into an unlocked mobile phone to connect to a local network within seven (7) days after the registration. For example, AT&T is a local network in the US; Vodafone is a local network in the UK. Fail to activate within 7 days after initial registration will result in complicated in-person re-registration in China.

Please DON’T change/switch the mobile device, which is initially used to activate your SIM card within 31 days; otherwise, you may be required to do a complicated in-person re-registration in China.

All SIM cards have had an international roaming feature turned on since day 1. You can start receiving texts free of charge from anywhere.

How to check the balance?

Just send text '101' to 10010 for airtime balance or send text '2082' to 10010 for data balance. Sending these texts in China are free of charge. but international roaming tariff applies when outside China. For example, texting 101 to 10010 in US is about 0.36 CNY/msg, about $0.06/msg.

How to keep my number?

  1. Make sure your airtime balance of the SIM card account is not in arrears; your SIM card account will be terminated if arrears are more than 3 months. We suggest you maintain at least a 50 CNY airtime balance.

  2. Please make sure to extend your expiration date by purchasing the KEEP-YOUR-NUMBER service on time.

  3. In order to better fight internet and telecom fraud, the Chinese government has issued the following rules regarding 'user identity verification' and 'purchase of new mobile SIM cards'; the new rules will start on January 1st, 2022:

  • Each active SIM card must have a usage record in 90 days period; otherwise, the user must visit a retail store to conduct in-person identity verification. If you live outside China, and mostly use this SIM card to receive texts, YOU MUST make calls or send texts at least once every 90 days. We suggest you send text '101' to 10010.
  • One passport can only register one SIM card with one operator within 12 months period. This means that if you use your passport registered a SIM card with one operator (e.g. China Unicom) within 12 months, you won’t be able to register another SIM card with another operator (e.g. China Mobile) during the same 12 months period.

How can I refill minutes and data?

Please use this top up form

How can I find roaming rates in other countries? 

Please find call and text message rates.

You might like these

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.