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

Put the VPN on your phone also. Get a local SIM card, which is quite inexpensive. Plan on ditching your phone when you depart for good. Big brother tracks everything. - May 2019

Local SIM cards are helpful for getting WeChat pay set up. - Nov 2018

China Unicom. Cheapest plans are about $16 a month with 4G data of 700MB. They go up from there depending on how much data you want. Don't overspend on data, the internet barely works in China for the sites you'll want to be on. All "foreign websites" are slow to the point of being useless sometimes, or blocked altogether. - Nov 2015

I bought a China Unicom sim card (pay as you go) shortly after arriving in Guangzhou, and it worked fine for me. I just stuck it in my U.S. cell phone, which was unlocked, and had no real issues. You could get a contract phone, and everyone is provided a phone by the Consulate, but when I was there, ELOs were given kind of janky Nokias, so if you wanted any kind of a smartphone, you needed to provide your own. - Aug 2014

Don't bring, buy, or use one that you want to use anywhere else in the world in any sort of private matter. - May 2013

Cell phones are super cheap and ubiquitous. I use China Mobile and have been fine with it. I think all the plans are pay as you go. - Apr 2013

The consulate gives all employees phones. Most people have their own personal iPhones, though, and a pay-as-you-go plan with China Mobile or China Unicom. Very easy. - Jan 2013

My BlackBerry seems to work pretty much everywhere. I have China Mobile. - Oct 2011

Pay-as-you-go. China Unicom has a better data network than China Telecom - May 2011

You can buy a cell phone cheaply on the local market and use top-up cards. - Jul 2009

Sim cards are available at any convenience store. Phone prices might be a little higher here than in the U.S., but if you buy in the US be sure to get a quad band phone. If you buy a phone here you should do it in Hong Kong to avoid getting a counterfeit one. - Jan 2009

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