China simcard

I'm travelling to China, and was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a sim card or a portable hotspot?

I will need at least 2gb of data and last me 3 weeks. I don't need a phone number or anything, just data.

And will a VPN work?

Thanks in advance guys :)



    are you flying direct or going through singapore?

    I used a singapore starhub sim when i was there last year. worked great.


    Friend that lives near Shanghai told me that visitors cannot buy prepaid SIM cards. You need a local ID…YMMV though


      Yeah I read that as well. That's why I am very open to suggestions right now haha


    You can buy one from the airport at China with your passport.


      I land at China at 10pm so idk if it will still be open. What are the prices like?

  • +1 vote

    I bought this last time when I was travelling to HK and China. If you order it now, they will send it to Aus in a week time. $108 HKD for the sim card and 2GB of data to use within 7 days. Then you can top up for another 7 days of 2 GB after for $100 HKD. Slithly expensive but the best thing about this card is that it won't be blocked by China firewall and the speed is amazing, 4G everywhere.

    Edit: actually, just found they have a 30 days sim card for $148, 3GB of data.


      Ooooh thank you! I might just get this :)

      • +1 vote

        no worries, just remember to download amap/baidu map as Google map is essentially useless in China. Also Didi (Chinese Uber equivalent) and Wechat are must have for easier life in China

  • +1 vote

    When I visited China my hotel had free wifi with a VPN already set up, so I could access Facebook etc. in the hotel. Otherwise I used wifi.

    If you can’t get a sim in time, you may be fine without one.

    I had installed WeChat prior to travelling and used this to access free wifi almost everywhere. Shopping centres, food outlets, restaurants, all used WeChat to provide free wifi. I did not have a separate VPN app on my phone.


      I will be solo travelling so having access to navigation (I am terrible at directions) and places to go is a necessity on the go :\

      • +1 vote

        Still very doable without constant access to data. I was pretty much always connected to wifi, or always able to be connected. It is provides for free almost everywhere.

        Download the app, which provides offline map access. Just make sure you download the maps for the cities you are going to in advance. It also allows shows you where you are so you can watch it as you’re moving around.

        Also look into getting a lonely planet book (I had an ebook on my phone that I borrowed from my local library), which will give you the historical information. Use Instagram/Facebook when on wifi to find the popular eateries and whatnot.

        Ask your hotel/hostel reception for tips on where to gowns for a physical map too.

        Not saying don’t try to find a data sim, but it is very easy without one if you don’t manage to get it.


    U can buy simcards in the airport kiosks. The prices are pretty good. 100rmb for 10gig/month last time I bought some. However the cards seems to be recycled/second hand ie. it’s registered to a random Chinese and you can log into random apps with sms pins. The residual amount/allowance is also confusing as most of them seems to be on a plan with monthly fees.


      Is there a deposit, and do you just buy it and then you can use it? Do you know if they're open all day because I get to the airport at 10pm.

      Also, do you know the name of store or its whereabouts?

      Cheers! :)

  • +1 vote

    what part of china will you be in?

    I found that PIA works a treat over there.

    I've spent a bit of time in china and never had a problem purchasing a prepaid sim card

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