China Prepaid SIM Card Comparison
Headed up to China for a visit? Be sure to pick-up your SIM card in Hong Kong before leaving. It’s a huge hassle to get a SIM in mainland, not to mention they require identification, whereas in HK they don’t. Do you really want the Chinese government knowing who you are and snooping more than they already do?
If you can’t pick it up in HK, you can purchase it online via our partner HKSIMCard.com.
There used to be dual-number SIM cards which would provide you with phone number in both China and HK, however I believe the contracts between the two countries have changed, so now those offerings are being discontinued. You can get a traditional voice/data card with HK number, but you’ll essentially be roaming once across the border.
The carriers basically offer data only prepaid SIMs, but you can always call people using Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, etc. So you don’t really need a voice number anymore.
There’s three national carriers in China, but only two have outlets in HK, so we’ll focus primarily on their selections.
Voice and Data
4G/3G Data & Voice Roaming Prepaid SIM Card: China Mobile
- Provides a HK phone number
- Roaming in China is reasonable at $1.9 HK/min for calls to HK or China
- Various Data Plans to suit your needs
Cost $108: purchase at China Mobile HK store. Might be able to find at convenience stores such as 7-11 or CircleK.
- Voice and Data plans
- Better choice for local HK use.
- Recommended only for very light usage in China, above China Mobile card is better for China usage.
Cost $218: purchase at csl mobile stores.
- 1.5 GB of data allowance over 10 days between HK and China
- Refillable at $100 for another 1 GB over 10 days
China Unicom has a few different data SIM cards for your selection. Stores can be hard to find, a list in Chinese is at the bottom of this page. CU carries a 7 day 1 GB card, but the China Mobile one above is better so I haven’t listed it below.
Guangdong & HK 90 Days 3GB: China Unicom
- Name says it all. Good if you are staying only in Guangdong province and HK.
- Refill at $200 HKD for additional 3GB.
Cost $299: purchase at China Unicom stores.
30 day version comes with 1 GB and costs $129 HK
Greater China 30 days 1 GB: China Unicom
- Roaming between China, HK, Taiwan, and Macau.
- Data allowance can be refilled at $150 / 1GB
Cost $199: purchase at China Unicom stores.
China Unicom HK Store Locations