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Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

China Unicom. - Oct 24, 2017
Super easy. Three major providers, just pop in a SIM. - Dec 3, 2015
Get a phone in the States, make sure it is unlocked and bring it here and put in a Chinese SIM. - Apr 12, 2015
Smartphone or cell phones work fine. - Aug 17, 2014
Cell phone plans and SIM cards are readily available and inexpensive. - Jul 18, 2014
Easy to find a provider -- China mobile and Unicom are what most people use. - Jun 19, 2013
Not really. The embassy issues phones to employees. We bought a very basic one for visitors to use; it uses “refill” cards to add minutes to the account. Reception (for all cell phones) is sketchy in many areas and buildings. - Aug 27, 2011
Bring your favorite one from home and buy a sim card when you get here. The you don't have to worry with the language issue - Apr 7, 2011
China Mobile has the best coverage but they don't have international standard 3G service (it's a local Chinese standard that only works in China with Chinese phones). China Unicom has far worse coverage but uses the same international standard 3G that AT&T does. China Telecom runs a network using the same 3G technology Verizon and Sprint do in the US, but you can't bring your phone from home and use it here (except through roaming, which is very expensive). You will have to buy a local one if you go with China Telecom. I use China Unicom and the service is anywhere from bad to awful, but it's a job requirement that I have a world phone so I don't have any choice. - Jan 18, 2011
You can buy one here, install a SIM card, and buy pay-as-you-go cards. You must have a phone. You do not want to get lost or injured and be without one, because no one will help you. They'll step right over your carcass and keep on going. - Apr 29, 2010
Easily obtainable and cheap. - Jan 26, 2010