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Sim cards at PVG

Sim cards at PVG

Old Apr 29, 18, 7:29 pm
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Sim cards at PVG

For a simcard is it best to buy them at PVG or should I order ahead? Is china unicom the way to go? Also was considering expressvpn is it still working in China?
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:11 am
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When are leaving the US? My mom has a unicom SIM that she is unlikely to use again.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
When are leaving the US? My mom has a unicom SIM that she is unlikely to use again.
Very soon Tuesday night.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by Red259 View Post
Very soon Tuesday night.
That is too tight, sadly. I'm sorry for not posting about her SIM card sooner.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 12:35 pm
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It's ok. Can I just pick up one at pvg easily or do I need to order ahead? The other option is waiting until suzhou and trying to figure it out there.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Red259 View Post
It's ok. Can I just pick up one at pvg easily or do I need to order ahead? The other option is waiting until suzhou and trying to figure it out there.
You can't order ahead. You might pay a bit of premium to get a SIM at PVG (v. In town), but this is probably worth it. Go with Unicom unless you are certain your phone can do 4g on China Mobile (less of an issue these days, but I've met many people who end up buying a second SIM).

Switching topics, I strongly encourage you to join our WeChat group. Think of it as a free concierge service
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
You can't order ahead. You might pay a bit of premium to get a SIM at PVG (v. In town), but this is probably worth it. Go with Unicom unless you are certain your phone can do 4g on China Mobile (less of an issue these days, but I've met many people who end up buying a second SIM).

Switching topics, I strongly encourage you to join our WeChat group. Think of it as a free concierge service
What is the WeChat group name? I haven't installed wechat yet since I was going to do it with my Chinese number and try to link my american credit cards to it. My phone is the samsung S8 galaxy not sure if that will run 4G with china mobile.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Red259 View Post
What is the WeChat group name? I haven't installed wechat yet since I was going to do it with my Chinese number and try to link my american credit cards to it. My phone is the samsung S8 galaxy not sure if that will run 4G with china mobile.
I just sent you a PM wrt WeChat. I believe one of us needs to invite you to the group because we have more than 100 members, but if you add me as a contact, I'll make this happen.
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Old May 2, 18, 2:18 am
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There's a SIM card booth in the arrivals hall at PVG (by baggage reclaim). They have gone up in price quite a lot over the last two years - used to be something like RMB150 (100 call credit, 50 for the SIM), now they want something like RMB200 or more (and the SIM is 150 or something giving you only a small credit). But it saves a lot of hassle lining up at a mobile store in the city (which took me over 90 minutes a couple years ago - tried that once and never again). Sometimes they ask a price a bit higher, but they do seem to negotiate. I still don't know if they just pocket the higher price.

IIRC they also ask you to hold your passport up to your face and take a picture of you + passport. That's just a fast way of them being able to do whatever registration they need to do. In a proper city store the registration takes ages and they have to photocopy your passport etc etc.
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Old May 2, 18, 4:34 am
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Just about every shop at Pudong seems to be selling SIMs although I can't vouch for any of them.
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Old May 2, 18, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
There's a SIM card booth in the arrivals hall at PVG (by baggage reclaim). They have gone up in price quite a lot over the last two years - used to be something like RMB150 (100 call credit, 50 for the SIM), now they want something like RMB200 or more (and the SIM is 150 or something giving you only a small credit). But it saves a lot of hassle lining up at a mobile store in the city (which took me over 90 minutes a couple years ago - tried that once and never again). Sometimes they ask a price a bit higher, but they do seem to negotiate. I still don't know if they just pocket the higher price.

IIRC they also ask you to hold your passport up to your face and take a picture of you + passport. That's just a fast way of them being able to do whatever registration they need to do. In a proper city store the registration takes ages and they have to photocopy your passport etc etc.
yea last time I got a sim card in the mainland I did it at the store and it felt like quite a process. I still ended up having to go to a main carrier or something and it was like a room with 100 locals in it trying to do something with their phones. All the text messages from the phone company were in Chinese so I was never sure how much data I had left et. Hoping this time goes smoother and will likely just do it in airport since I am taking a bus out to suzhou. I would think the people at the airport are much more used to dealing with tourists and what they need.
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Old May 2, 18, 5:16 pm
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If it doesn't work out at the airport, go to a Unicom customer service center in the city, not one of the small shops you see everywhere with a Unicom sign out front. Though they can sell you a SIM card, the small shops can't activate the card if you're registering with a passport. That's why they send you to another place for name registration and activation.
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Old May 2, 18, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
If it doesn't work out at the airport, go to a Unicom customer service center in the city, not one of the small shops you see everywhere with a Unicom sign out front. Though they can sell you a SIM card, the small shops can't activate the card if you're registering with a passport. That's why they send you to another place for name registration and activation.
Even small unicom stores can sell and register new SIMs, but they generally can't put your old number on a new SIM. I avoid the service centers at all costs.
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Old May 2, 18, 9:53 pm
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When I had to register my old China Mobile SIM, the CM stores wouldn't handle it: they sent me off to the take-a-number-and-wait (and wait) customer service centre. So I assumed same for buying a new SIM and same for Unicom.
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Old May 3, 18, 4:40 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
When I had to register my old China Mobile SIM, the CM stores wouldn't handle it: they sent me off to the take-a-number-and-wait (and wait) customer service centre. So I assumed same for buying a new SIM and same for Unicom.
That was my guess too, but my colleagues told me I was mistaken, and were correct. That having been, I think the airport premium is probably worth it these days. If nothing else, you can at least get caught up on emails during the ride into town.
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