China Travel Answer

Q: I am planning to be on business trip of 3 weeks to china.I will be in Wenzhou, Yiwu, and Foshan. I wish to be in touch with my home. How do I apply and get moblie sim card in China. Any documents needed? What mobile system in existance in China, i.e., GSM or CDMA? Kindly guide me. Thanks a lot!

For mobile communication, both GSM and CDMA systems exist in China. China's leading mobile communications providers are China Mobile and China Unicom.

Chines mobile communication systems recognize only international cellphones that operate at the frequency of 900 and 1800 Hmz. The cellphones that operate at the frequency of 1900 hmz cannot be used in China.

If your mobile phone works in China, you can just purchase a SIM card. Since you'll be using your phone in China for a short period of time, you can buy a prepaid card that will give you certain amount of time. There are many places in China where you can purchase such prepaid cards, which are not all that expensive.

If your cellphone does not work in China, you can buy or rent one.

There are companies outside China that serve foreign travelers in China who need to use cellphones. Telesial, for instance, provide such services (

Also make sure that you have proper adapters so that you can plug in to charge your phone. Plug types "A," "I" and "G" are used in China. Electricity voltage in China is 220 and you may need a transformer.