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Buying a SIM card in Beijing

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Buying a SIM card in Beijing

Where should a foreigner with limited Chinese buy a SIM card in Beijing? Are there mobile shops that have English-speaking staff? I have limited Chinese, but it is basic Chinese, and I will quickly get lost if sales staff try to discuss different plans in Chinese. Would it be a good idea to buy the SIM card at the airport? (In case Jean-Pierre, who has been following my case responds, this would be SIM cards for my unlocked cheap GSM phone and for my travel companion's unlocked iPhone.) Thanks in advance for your advice.

Edited: 3:36 pm, September 28, 2012
70 replies to this topic
Singapore, Singapore
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51. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

Where can i buy a SIM Card beside the airport? Will be stayin close to Beijing Railway Station

Preferably, will want an official shop.

Which telco will you recommend? I will need data for 7 days

Beijing, China
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52. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

I think you can buy it online, some online store have English service, especially, you can find the promotional sim card which not sold in official shop. The promotional cards usually have credit and subsidies, for shortterm use, it's no need to top-up any more after buying. Check out this comparison table, compare promotional sim card with official standard one: handychn.com/catalogue/…

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53. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

In Beijing airport where can I buy international sim card? How much currency needed? How can I reach century towers from airport?

San Diego...
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54. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

I walked into a China Mobile store in Beijing near the Lama temple with my Samsung 4s phone-the one I currently use, as all 4G phones are unlocked now. I was told I would need my passport, and that it is a hassle, but none of that was true. I paid 120 RMB, the salesman cut the simcard to the correct size, inserted it, and then tested it to make sure it worked.

This was a week ago.

Now I am in Lijiang and have made several calls to Beijing. I did not get a data plan, but nearly every restaurant or cafe has free Wifi anyway so you really don't need a data plan.

La Coruna, Spain
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55. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

hello, im going to Beijin and Shangai in one month and Id like to buy a 3G sim card. Could anyone help me out with this?I found this website( 3g.10010.com/3gindex/3gfee/yu_plan.html ) on the coments above but I dont know wich one shoul I take. Thanks a lot!

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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56. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing


Does any one know whether i can buy a prepaid 3g sim from China Unicom @ Beijing Airport ?

I am planing to visit Beijing in Aug, if i opt to by the 66 RMB plan, will they ask for a deposit ?

and what does it mean by - 14 RMB minimum extra value ?


Beijing, China
3 posts
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57. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

hi guys,

Next time try to find me n I’ll try to help you, in fact sometimes it can be done without showing your passport to get a SIM card to protect your privacy but just for unkow time, a few months or a few years , i cant predict this period but its still valid until now.

add my wechat (HSKTutor) if you need help on this.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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58. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

You can't buy the SIM at the airport.

When you buy a SIM, no deposit required. Just put money in your phone to cover the cost of the plan. You can always top-up.

Beijing, China
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59. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

add my wechat (HSKTutor) if you need help on the anonymous SIM card in Beijing.

Edited: 9:46 pm, July 07, 2015
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60. Re: Buying a SIM card in Beijing

Can anyone please advise what is the best option for a data only card for an iPad? I need for about 10 days in China - travelling in Beijing, Xian, and in eastern regions. I probably need about 2-3 GB. The faster the speed, the better.

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