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A guide to setting up mobile services

Jan 17, 2024

When you arrive in China, one of your primary tasks is to purchase a SIM card.

China has three major mobile providers: China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile. You can get a SIM card at the official representative offices of these companies.

How to get a SIM card offline

(1) Go to one of the major stores, found in various locations including malls

(2) Choose a mobile package or simply point to the brochure which lists the packages provided

(3) Show your passport

(4) Show the SIM card size you need — Normal, Micro or Nano

(5) Purchase and register

How to get a SIM card online

Online processing of a SIM card from the three major mobile companies can be done through Nihao Mobile.

Nihao Mobile offers English service, online operation, fast delivery and multiple payment options.

How to purchase a Nihao SIM card and service from Nihao Mobile

1. Go towww.nihaomobile.cn/. Select "English" as your preferred service language

2. Click on "Order Nihao SIM"

3. Choose from various plans and add it to your cart

4. Click on the shopping cart icon in the upper right corner to pay

5. Confirm your order and pay

6. There is same-day dispatch for orders completed before 6 pm on working days, with free delivery within 48 hours.

How to top up

Once you have your SIM card and have made the initial payment, you will eventually need to “top up” and add money to your phone.

(1) Online: Recharge through third-party platforms such as Alipay and WeChat, or the official APP or WeChat mini-program of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom

(2) Offline: Go to the shops to add money or use the self-service payment terminal

If in doubt, call the service telephone number for your mobile operator: China Mobile 021-10086; China Unicom 021-10010; China Telecom 021-10000

What to do if you lose your mobile phone

(1) Call your phone. If someone found it and you can arrange to get it back.

(2) Call your phone carrier and report the loss:

China Mobile: 021-10086

China Unicom: 021-10010

China Telecom: 021-10000

(3) Call the police.

(4) Call the bank to freeze banking services.

(5) Change your passwords - if you use mobile banking, email and social media on your phone, it's wise to change your passwords in case your accounts have been compromised.

(6) Warn your friends of potential fraud – Inform them that you lost your mobile phone as soon as possible and to be aware of any fraudulent messages from your lost phone.

Sources: govt.chinadaily.com.cn, City News Service

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