internet costs in China

Old Aug 26th, 2001, 12:21 PM
Susie Burke
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internet costs in China

We will be on a 12 day tour in China In Sept. When checking e-mail, what are the costs in the big hotels? Are there any interenet cafes and are they a better deal? How about the cost to call the US using prepaid phone cards?
Old Aug 26th, 2001, 01:44 PM
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Last year we were on a long cruise in the Asia area. On the ship, the Internet costed $1.00 a minute; in most of the Asian countries it was about $1.00 an hour.
Old Aug 26th, 2001, 01:57 PM
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As of last April, in most Chinese cities, private internet cafe cost about 25 to 35 cents per hour; 2~3 star hotel business center internet access cost about 40 to 60 cents per hour.
Old Aug 27th, 2001, 09:20 PM
Peter Neville-Hadley
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Internet cafes are always a better deal than 'big hotels', and usually better even than budget hotels.

Typical charges at upmarket Internet cafes in Beijing were Y20 (US$2.41) an hour until recently (and still are at the cafe on top of the Old Railway Station), while the Post Office offered only Y8 (US$0.96). Now the main chain, Sparkice, has cut its rates to Y12, but perhaps only temporarily, and the Post Office has gone up to the same rate. Less comfortable cafes in the Qianmen hutong, and up by the university have always been cheaper, but many of these have been shut down, and are waiting for licences or may never reopen because they are too close to government buildings or place of education, which the government has decided to prohibit.

In more rural areas such as Yunnan Provice, where even the tiniest town seems to have Internet access, prices are typically Y3 or Y2 an hour (as little as US0.24).

Prepaid phone cards come in many variety, and are available just about everywhere. These are called IC cards in China. Hotels add a premium to the card value if you buy them there, so don't. You'll see the letters IC and IP posted up at street kiosks. There you'll pay Y30 for a Y30 card, or, if the card says 'Y29+1' on it, just pay Y29. Students sometimes buy these cards in bulk and sell them at a discount.

IC cards only work in public phones, of course, and though there will probably be one of these in the lobby of your hotel, you may prefer the kind of kind where you dial a local access number from you hotel room, then a long string of digits as an account number, and finally the number you want itself. The hotel may charge you for the local call.

Of these, IP cards, which route calls over the Internet, are far and away the best value for money, and the quality of the transmission is adequate. When I lived in China I regularly used these to call home.

Peter Neville-Hadley
Information About Travel in China
Old Aug 31st, 2001, 04:05 PM
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Actually, the latest rate has been cut to as low as RMB 3-5/hour in Beijing's Internet Cafe.

David Leung
Escort Service in Beijing
Old Sep 2nd, 2001, 08:46 AM
Peter Neville-Hadley
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If the previous posting is to be more than simply yet another advert for an 'escorf service', perhaps David Leung would actually confirm that the cafes listed have suddenly in the last month cut their rates to Y3-5, or whether these prices refer to the Qianmen and university are cafes, already mentioned as being cheaper. Or are there new, central, cafes catering for visitors with these prices, and if so, where?

Peter N-H
Old Sep 2nd, 2001, 11:40 AM
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I just returned in June from China; I had good luck using free terminals to do email at the airports!

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