Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Your Guide to Living in China - Tools

Students should beware of the compatibility of their mobile phones before bringing them to China. You may see many local Chinese people using iPhones. However, you may run into problems when you try to use your own iPhone in China as it is usually network locked to a specific carrier.

Currently the major mobile phone systems in China are GSM, CDMA, 3G and 4G:

China Mobile: GSM(2G) / TD-SCDMA(3G) / TD-LTE(4G).
China Unicom: GSM(2G) / WCDMA(3G) / TD-LTE(4G) / FDD-LTE(4G).
China Telecom: CDMA1X(2G) / EVDO(3G) / TD-LTE(4G) / FDD-LTE(4G).

You can always buy a very cheap mobile phone in China. Android smartphone can cost as low as USD 50. There are three main mobile service providers in China: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. You can buy a SIM card and insert it into your new mobile phone in China.


In China, the common power voltage is 220 Volt 50 Hz. There are two kinds of power sockets widely used in China: type A and type I. The type A can also accept plugs of type C or F, which are commonly seen in most European countries.


You can first sign up a WeChat account, it is widely used in China. WeChat is a popular instant messaging application that lets you send text, multi-media message and even have live chat with an active internet connection. You won’t find many local people using WhatsApp or Snapchat in China.

Learn more about life in China, please visit Your Guide to Living in China

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