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sim card for China (Beijing, Xian, Guilin) & Hong Kong?

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May 27th, 2011, 01:03 PM
  #1
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sim card for China (Beijing, Xian, Guilin) & Hong Kong?

Can anyone please recommend a simcard for my blackberry (3G, model 9300) that I can use in both China mainland and Hong Kong? Since we will be going Beijing - Xian - Hong Kong - Guilin, would prefer to get one sim card. Having 2 sim cards is my second choice.

Will be arriving in Beijing first, so I can buy a sim card there and have the store activate it for me.

I just need one to make calls within China/Hong Kong, as well as email access through wifi.

Thanks in advance.
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May 29th, 2011, 03:08 AM
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I am not very technology savvy but we recently spent a month in China and used skype and it was great, we put skype credit on our account and were able to use it to call home numbers (people who didn't have skype) and also to call numbers in china so this may be a possibility also
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May 29th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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Thanks. I use skype too, for calling home in Canada when I travel.

The sim card is for my cell when traveling - to check on emails, get on the internet (boarding pass for example), and to call other members of my travel group or friends in the country I travel to.
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Jul 2nd, 2011, 06:41 AM
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China and HK are 2 different countries so your Chinese SIM card will not work in HK.
You can get a SIM card everywhere but I suggest the airport as they speak some english. Make sure you get a data package if you want to access emails.
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Jul 2nd, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Last time I landed in China there were kids in the airport terminal selling sim cards. They were standing right outside the gate when the plane unloaded.

For a US $20 bill they installed a sim in my phone and gave me some paperwork with the phone number on it, and my old sim to put back in when finished.

I had more than enough minutes, and even called the USA to try to use minutes before I left China.
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Jul 2nd, 2011, 02:53 PM
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I actually ordered 2 China Mobile sim cards through Pandaphone ($19 + $10 shipping).

Some people in my group want to wait till we arrive in Beijing to buy their sim cards. Nice to hear that they sell them at the airport, cause we have some time to kill: I will arrive an hour earlier but will wait for my sister to join me from Hong Kong.

Thanks.
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Jul 2nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
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Beware of one problem: I purchased a Sim card at the telephone company office in Shanghai. Then I started travelling around China and quickly ran out of minutes. I found out that once I left Shanghai, all calls were long distance and ate up the amount on my card. So check it out. I didn't realize I had run out of minutes and couldn't understand why my husband wasn't calling me from the U.S. anymore.
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Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Yes, the phone number is from the city where you buy the card. If you buy it in Beijing then you have a Beijing phone number. When you travel around you are incurring long distance if calling back Beijing.
A SIM card costs 20RMB (about $3) plus whatever time value you have on it, usually at least 50RMB. You can reload your card at any time.
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Jul 4th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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It depends on the sim card you buy. I believe with China Mobile sim card (doesn't matter you buy it in Shanghai or Beijing or anywhere in China), you pay the same rate when you travel in China and make calls within China. Their published rate is "$0.08 per minute for calls within China, and $0.01 sms domestic message".

http://www.china-mobile-phones.com/c...epaid-sim.html
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Jul 4th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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China Mobile is the largest cell operator in China. The website above is not an official China Mobile website. It is a reseller. note that $0.08 per minute to call anywhere in China is not a local rate. It is not cheap. I note that while the SIM card sells for $29, nowhere do they tell you how much value is actually in the card. At $0.08 per minute, $29 should buy you 362 minutes which I doubt.
Better to buy directly from China Mobile or China Unicom.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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I just checked with Pandaphone: they said there is $8 air time on those China Mobile cards - at $0.08 per minute that's 100 mins of airtime.

Per my last message - it was not a $29 at face value: it was $19 card + $10 shipping.

This may not be the best deal - but we will travel as a group and so will need to communicate with each other when we get separated, like going shopping on our own. So that should work out fine for us.
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Jul 6th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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Johnmango - yes if this works for you then it is fine.
Just telling other readers what their options are. Easy and cheap to just buy a SIM card at the airport for those who have a phone that can handle a foreign SIM card.
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