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

You could try to keep a mobile to avoid the firewall, but you need a Chinese number for WeChat... - May 2020


Get a mobile plan here, bring your phone. - Nov 2019


China Unicom. - Oct 2017


Super easy. Three major providers, just pop in a SIM. - Dec 2015


Get a phone in the States, make sure it is unlocked and bring it here and put in a Chinese SIM. - Apr 2015


Smartphone or cell phones work fine. - Aug 2014


Cell phone plans and SIM cards are readily available and inexpensive. - Jul 2014


Easy to find a provider -- China mobile and Unicom are what most people use. - Jun 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 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 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 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 2010


Easily obtainable and cheap. - Jan 2010


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