Chengdu helper

Getting Your Chengdu-Based SIM Card

    The mobile phone has become an essential part of many aspects in daily life, including food, shelter, commuting and clothing to reaching a friend. To live, study or work in Chengdu, a Chengdu-based mobile phone SIM card is absolutely necessary. Today, "Chengdu Helper" will show you how to get your very own Chengdu SIM card.

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Materials to Prepare

    Getting a SIM card requires real-name verification, so remember to bring your passport or other valid personal identification document.

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Choose a Service Provider

    In Chengdu, there are three major telecom service providers available for you: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. 

If you do not want to replace your current mobile phone, you need to confirm the compatibility of your phone's mobile network system, which could be done by looking up your phone's user manual, searching online or consulting staffs at stores of the service providers. Then choose a service provider that offers a network system compatible with your phone and apply for a SIM card.


Main Mobile Network Systems 

of the Three Major Telecom Operators


China Mobile

4G:China MobileTD-LTE

3G:TD-SCDMA

2G:GSM


China Unicom

4G:China Unicom TD-LTE,China Unicom FDD-LTE

3G:WCDMA

2G:GSM


China Telecom

4G:China Telecom TD-LTE,China Telecom TD-LTE

3G:CDMA2000

2G:CDMA


    If you are unable to confirm whether your phone's mobile network system is compatible with any of the three major service providers, then I suggest you buy a new mobile phone. Browse through service providers' stores, shopping websites or brick-and-mortar mobile phone shops to find the device you like. Phones sold in service providers' stores come ready-to-use with the respective operator's SIM card; shopping websites offer a much larger array of choices; brick-and-mortar mobile phone shops provide more convenient after-sale services.


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Get SIM Card

    Only users with verified mainland Chinese identification card may obtain SIM card through online channels; thus foreign nationals and residents from the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions need to bring their passport or other valid personal identification document and proceed to a physical store of the chosen telecom service provider, and then get a SIM card with the help of on-site staff. One of the steps in getting a SIM card is choosing a phone number from the available options. The Chinese usually prefer numbers that include eight, six and two, and if you want to adhere to the local way and pick a "lucky number", it might be a good idea to bring along a Chinese buddy.


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Choose a Payment Plan

    There are two most common mobile phone service subscription plans: One type emphasizes on calls and offers more minutes but fewer data; the other type focuses on data but provides fewer minutes. If you want the best of both, you need to pay a higher price. Soit would be better to choose the plan that fits your needs best. If you also want to get landline broadband access, there are also mobile phone service subscription plan options that include landline broadband.


Personal Recommendations

    China Mobile: China Mobile Big Data series subscription plan ("Yidong Da Liuliang")

    Monthly fees as low as RMB78, including 10G data (speed reduces after 10G) and 50 minutes domestic calls.

    China Unicom: Little Ice God subscription plan ("Xiao Bingshen Ka")

    Monthly fees RMB99, including 20G data (speed reduces after 20G) and 300 minutes domestic calls.

    China Telecom: Big Bull Card ("Da Niu Ka")

    Monthly fees RMB49, including 10G data (speed reduces after 10G) and 100 minutes domestic calls.

    There you go, your very own Chengdu-based mobile phone number. Congrats! You are another step closer to truly assimilating into the Chengdu life.


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