Phone Network & Bank Account Questions

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 11 years ago by Avatar photo7.
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  • #9616
    Avatar photoLynsey
    Participant

    Hey,

    Just looking for some help – I’m sorry if this has been asked a million times before!

    Totally newb – I just arrived yesterday. But I really need to get a Chinese number pretty quick as I can’t get in contact with my workmates too easily without it!

    I was thinking of just getting a SIM for pay-as-you-go but since I have an iphone I’m not sure if you can get that? I asked at the corner shop but apparently you have to cut a normal SIM card to size to make it fit? Sounds a bit iffy to me! And also how do you pay for the top-ups?

    Can you get regular pay monthly contracts like in the UK and if so what’s the best network in terms of coverage/cost? And where’s the best place to get this – do the networks have individual shops??

    Oh, also I need to open a bank account – is it possible to do this without a passport as I heard you need this? I don’t have it right now because of my permit applications..

    Er, any help appreciated! Bit stuck!

    Thanks 🙂

    #23143
    Avatar photoChris Ziich
    Moderator

    You will need your passport to open a bank account.

    I’m guessing you have an iPhone4 or newer. You’ll need a microSIM card for that. Go to any China Unicom branch (OK coverage and OK data plans) and they should have them available. At that time you can pick a phone number and monthly plan. You should be able to find a nearby branch by searching China Unicom on google maps or baidu.

    #23155
    Avatar photoLynsey
    Participant

    Thanks! Had a feeble attempt at opening an account with my temporary ID that I got when they started the permits process and a photocopy of my passport. Bit of a fail! Guess I’ll just have to wait.

    #23163
    Avatar photo7
    Participant

    Cutting a pre-paid SIM to fit is no big deal if you have the tool. I bought one so when I travel I can do just that. I’m sure it can’t be that hard to find someone with the tool who would do if for a few RMB.

    #23165
    Avatar photoVic
    Participant

    welcome to Chengdu, Lynsey.

    if you still have these problems, let me know….

    #23171
    Avatar photoChris Ziich
    Moderator
    Quote:
    Cutting a pre-paid SIM to fit is no big deal if you have the tool. I bought one so when I travel I can do just that. I’m sure it can’t be that hard to find someone with the tool who would do if for a few RMB.

    a ruler, scissors, and steady hands 😛

    #23178
    Avatar photoCharlie
    Keymaster

    You can get a mini-SIM from China Unicom, I’m not certain if pay as you go works with 3G but I’m pretty sure it’s possible to get that. If you have an iPhone that’s probably what you want. There are China Unicom buildings all around Chengdu but a really big one is on the East side of Kehua Beilu just south of the Lingshiguan Lu intersection that the US Consulate is on.

    #23185
    Avatar photoLynsey
    Participant

    Hey all thanks for the tips 🙂

    I know the tool you’re talking about as they cut a SIM in the shop to check if it would work in my phone. Unfortunately since my iphone isn’t jailbroken the Chinese SIM didn’t work and they wanted 800RMB to make it happen. I’m not so good with technology (obviously!) so I have no idea whether this is the going rate for doing that kind of thing (and honestly I didn’t really trust them to do it!).

    So… solution was just buy a new cheapo phone with Chinese SIM. Shame I keep getting spammed with texts that I cannot read!

    #23186
    Avatar photoVincent NL
    Participant

    You might want to go back to the shop and ask to stop the spamming. I had that too with an old number and some of them are actually paid and then your money is gone real quick. It are probably weather forecasts and other info they automatically subscribe you to, thanks but no thanks!

    #23215
    Avatar photo7
    Participant

    If your iPhone was bought from AT&T & is no longer under contract then you can have them unlock it for you. That’s what I did and it’s definitely the best way to go (free & you don’t have to worry about jailbreaking/unlocking which comes with a lot of other issues.)

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