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Optimal cell phone strategies in China

Optimal cell phone strategies in China

Old Apr 26, 2023, 6:56 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by lsquare
Which plan do you have?
Originally Posted by 889
All I know is what the guy at CM firmly instructed me when I registered my pre-paid SIM: my real-name registration will expire when my passport expires. Maybe there's a grace period, particularly during the Pandemic?
China Mobile.

I used my old passport to register my cell phone in 2011. The passport expired in 2020.

So far my SIM still works.....
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 6:58 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
China Mobile.

I used my old passport to register my cell phone in 2011. The passport expired in 2020.

So far my SIM still works.....
I meant plan details and monthly fee. I'm assuming your plan isn't free.
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 7:40 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by lsquare
I meant plan details and monthly fee. I'm assuming your plan isn't free.
My plan is something like 68 RMB per month for 6GB data and 100 min talk.
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 8:26 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by kb1992
My plan is something like 68 RMB per month for 6GB data and 100 min talk.
Thank you. Can HK numbers be used with WeChat Pay and Alipay? I would like a cheaper option that can receive SMS abroad if I keep the line long-term.
​​​​​​
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 9:42 pm
  #20  
 
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For what it's worth, not having a cell phone number is really annoying.

Sichuan Airlines (https://www.sichuanair.com/) only lets you book a flight when logged in, and phone number is the only method of logging in.
Air China (http://www.airchina.com.cn/) lets you login with an email BUT creating an account is impossible unless you send a text message to 95583 to obtain a captcha for your mobile phone.

Back to Trip.com/Ctrip I guess...
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 10:01 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by gudugan
For what it's worth, not having a cell phone number is really annoying.

Sichuan Airlines (https://www.sichuanair.com/) only lets you book a flight when logged in, and phone number is the only method of logging in.
Air China (http://www.airchina.com.cn/) lets you login with an email BUT creating an account is impossible unless you send a text message to 95583 to obtain a captcha for your mobile phone.

Back to Trip.com/Ctrip I guess...
Which plan do you have or looking to get? I'm pretty sure my T-Mobile Magenta Max will work in China so I don't need something extensive in China.
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 10:03 pm
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The plan is kind of irrelevant, whatever is cheap and pauseable will work.

Not having a +86 number is the hard part
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 10:12 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by gudugan
The plan is kind of irrelevant, whatever is cheap and pauseable will work.

Not having a +86 number is the hard part
What are the options at the moment? I'm also looking for something similar. I expect to use my T-Mobile line for most of my usage.
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Old May 2, 2023, 6:42 am
  #24  
 
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I went to a China Mobile customer service center today and signed up. The good news is that it's very possible to do this; they don't care what kind of visa you have, tourist is fine. The bad news is it took 2.5 hours and five employees. No one could really figure out the process so they kept sending in someone new.

I got offered postpaid (Y200 for one time setup fee as bill credit, 1 year contract, Y40 for 12GB*). I guess there was a prepaid contract but 40 sounded fine and the guy was pushing it. It is for 5G, but my phone is too old anyway so it doesn't really matter.

You have to do a bunch of stuff like get fingerprinted, picture taken, and record a video saying "I got this number and I will follow the laws"

* 5GB province-only data + 5GB anywhere data + 2GB data that will start next month
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Last edited by gudugan; May 3, 2023 at 1:29 am Reason: plan data
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:56 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by gudugan
I went to a China Mobile customer service center today and signed up. The good news is that it's very possible to do this; they don't care what kind of visa you have, tourist is fine. The bad news is it took 2.5 hours and five employees. No one could really figure out the process so they kept sending in someone new.

I got offered postpaid (Y200 for one time setup fee, 1 year contract, Y40 for 5GB). I guess there was a prepaid contract but 40 sounded fine and the guy was pushing it. It was supposed to be 4G but I think I have a 5G sim. My phone is too old anyway so it doesn't really matter.

You have to do a bunch of stuff like get fingerprinted, picture taken, and record a video saying "I got this number and I will follow the laws"
Foreigners can sign up for postpaid plans? What are the details of your plan? Can you use it in HK and Macau?
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Old May 2, 2023, 9:43 am
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The salesperson told me I was going to get 12GB of 4G data for Y40 a month. And that I could get 22GB of data for Y50 a month.

Here's a pic of the plan details:
【 (28元/月) ,新入网首月费用及套餐内
流量及语音按天折算,套餐含来电显示、视
频彩铃、移动云盘 (200GB空间) ,国内
通用流量5GB,国内主叫100分钟,套餐外
国内流量前三个G按10元/GB计费,从第四
个G开始按5元/GB循环计费 ; 套餐外国内主
叫按照0.15元/分钟收取,国内被叫不收费
(以上国内不包含港、澳、台地区) 】

[ (28 yuan/month), the first month's fee included in the package
Traffic and voice are calculated on a daily basis. The package includes caller ID, video ring tone,
mobile cloud disk (200GB space), domestic general traffic 5GB, domestic calling 100 minutes.
The first three gigabytes of domestic traffic outside the package are billed at 10 yuan/GB. Starting from the fourth GB, it will be billed at 5 yuan/GB.
Domestic calls outside the package are charged at 0.15 yuan per minute, and there is no charge for receiving calls
(The above domestic regions do not include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) ]]


Last edited by gudugan; May 3, 2023 at 1:30 am Reason: part of plan data
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:10 pm
  #27  
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In addition to the GB provided under your plan, CM often throws in bonus data. So before getting too upset, take a look at the actual data available to you by using the CM app.
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:30 pm
  #28  
 
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Yeah I got a 500mb bonus.

I don't need 5G anyway as my phone doesn't support it. So I'll try to change the plan

Unfortunately (as you mentioned) the number is locked to a specific city/province but I didn't want to wait another week to get a SIM card. Caveat Emptor
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:33 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by gudugan
Yeah I got a 500mb bonus.

I don't need 5G anyway as my phone doesn't support it. So I'll try to change the plan

Unfortunately (as you mentioned) the number is locked to a specific city/province but I didn't want to wait another week to get a SIM card. Caveat Emptor
Why didn't you considered China Unicom?

What kind of Chinese visa do you have?

How can a Westerner pay for a Chinese mobile line? Credit card or cash only?

Seems awesome if one can get a postpaid plan without a residency permit or credit check if it exists in China.
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Old May 2, 2023, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by lsquare
Why didn't you considered China Unicom?

What kind of Chinese visa do you have?

How can a Westerner pay for a Chinese mobile line? Credit card or cash only?

Seems awesome if one can get a postpaid plan without a residency permit or credit check if it exists in China.
China Mobile had closer stores. If China Unicom had closer stores I would've gone there. I heard China Telecom doesn't work with non-Chinese phones?

US passport, 10-year L visa

I paid Y200 cash. Technically this is a setup fee but it looks like I have a Y200 credit on my account so it should last for 5 months. You can also pay with AliPay or WeChat Pay of course but you need the phone number to set those up (and bank account).

I don't have a residency permit and don't have any credit score.
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