Calling Card in Shanghai

Making phone calls using the fixed-line telephone for local calls is cheap (0.12 RMB per minute?) but it is expensive for international phone calls. Here is the standard price:

Normal time

International phone call: 0.48 RMB / 6 seconds

Domestic long distance call: 0.07 RMB / 6 seconds

Between 0:00 – 7:00

International phone call: 0.48 RMB / 6 seconds (for 15 countries, including U.S, Japan, Australia, France…)

Domestic long distance call: 0.04 RMB / 6 seconds

Source: Shanghai Telecom

Calling Card

I am not sure how the foreign carrier’s’ calling cards work in China, such as AT&T, MCI cards. In China, there are many IP cards that can save money. For example, Unicom 17910 IP Card (0.30 RMB/minute DDD or 2.40 RMB/minute IDD to U.S. and Canada (3.60 RMB/minute IDD to other countires), Unicom 193, China Mobile 17950 IP Cards… The best thing with these cards is, if you buy it online, you can easily get 50 RMB of value with less than 20 RMB. The website I use everyday is I can use my credit card to pay there and they send me the card number and the password. I can directly use the card at the fixed-line telephone in my home. No card deliver required. It is really cool.

Buy the Card?

Besides the online store, telephone card dealers can be found at Pudong or Hong Qiao Airport. You can find it at the Arrival Hall (Pudong, Hongqiao).


Skype is a much better alternative to fixed-line. It offers around 0.20 RMB/minute to telephone everywhere around the world. It is even cheaper than the mobile phone in China (0.40 RMB/minute). Just use the SkypeOut feature.

12 thoughts on “Calling Card in Shanghai

  1. Hi! I am planning to visit Shanghai in mid March for a week, and thinking of taking my tri-band GSM mobile phone with me. Can you tell me anything about sim card? Typical cost and number of minutes available? Can I use it to make international calls to the US, Japan, etc. in addition to local calls in the greater Shanghai area? I am thinking of visiting Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc., you know, the routine tourist thing. Is it available anywhere including the Pudong airport? Online?

    Thank you very much!


  2. Hi. A friend and I are looking to move to Shanghai (as it looks to be the best choice) for a few months, just to see how we like it for ourselves. I was wondering if I could find out how easy it is to get a job there, doing anything really. You know, detailing cars at a dealership or loading trucks, whatever. For a Canadian citizen, how hard will it be? As I said we are interested in coming just for a few months to see how it is for ourselves, the entries on this website are helpful, but definately not as much as a personal experiance would be.

    Also, what kind of availability is there as far as apartments go?

  3. Hello, I am Lisa from Singapore currently working in Jiaxing. Indeed your website is full of info and stories. I used it to train my staffs who have not even seen an airport before. Indeed this website is very useful as a training tool for me. Thank you for all your effort.

  4. Thank you, Luuvi. Skype is only useful if you could get to a computer. I need information for using my own mobile phone that is tri-band, GSM compatible with the system in China. I need to find a sim card to put it in the phone. Hope they have it at the airport.

  5. Hi!

    I will be moving into Shanghai with my family and require to source the following information:

    Internet Service Providers in Shanghai with broad band facility.

  6. Hi,

    I read a comment on your website posted by Lisa Tan on March 3, 2005. She is from Singapore and at the time was working in Jiaxing. I was just wondering if this Lisa is my roommate from first year University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have lost touch over the years, but I have thought often of her. I’ll keep googling you and see if I can find you.

  7. Calling cards!!!!! Doesn’t work!!!!.An alternative solution is Skype which I have been using for a while.Skype is used to make calls for a lower rate,video calls r for free,send instant messages for cheaper rate.U can send sms for a euro 0.045.Try skype!!! and if u want to know more about skype visit the website

  8. elliottng reviewed a few different options of calling from China on CNReviews. I tried to set up a Jajah account and it is very cool, especially when you are in China and have a China cellphone number. With it, not only you can make international calls at a pretty lower fee, your friends/families can also call you via a widget. I like the fact that I can talk on a phone instead of a speaker phone or a mircophone on my laptop.

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