Bring Your Mobile and Internet to Shanghai

Alf sent me a wonderful email containing questions that first time travelers to Shanghai will definitely face. It gave me good idea about what I need to write to help them.

How to Access Internet?

Can I buy an Internet card to connect to the internet from my hotel room using my laptop? What different cards are there? Where can you buy them? What is the policy of the hotels? etc.

There are some kinds of Internet cards on the market that allow you to dial a number to gain Internet access. As a traveler, however, you don’t need to bother buy a card. You can dial up to the Shanghai Telecom directly for Internet access via any phone line.

  • The access number is 16300
  • Username: 16300
  • Password: 16300

It charges 0.05 RMB per minute for the Internet access fee and 0.02 RMB per minute for the phone line fee. The fee will be included in the telephone bill to the telephone owner.

Based on my experience, I can access Internet via 16300 in hotels. But don’t forget to input 9,16300 in the phone number field in your dial up connection. 9 is for external line and the comma is for pause. Adjust it according to your hotel setting.

The hotel may charge you higher than the standard charge from Shanghai Telecom.

Can I Use My Mobile?

The mobile you have in Europe or U.S. may not work in China. China is using GSM 900 Mhz while it is GSM 1800 MHz in Europe and 1900 MHz in U.S. You need a mobile that support 900 Mhz to access the local network. Pre-paid card is available: Mobiles in China – My Personal Perspective and Difference Between Quanqiutong and Shenzhouxing. You can buy these cards at the International Arrival Hall in Pudong Airport.


“Which bus should I take to go from Pudong Airport to ….?” Not surprisingly, this is the top question I received. I hope the following articles will be useful:

You may be also interested in alternatives besides bus.

In particular, if you want to go to Pujiang Youth Hostel, one of two Youth Hotstel in Shanghai. You can take Pudong Airport Bus #2 (19 RMB) to People’s Square and take taxi there (10 – 15 RMB).

18 thoughts on “Bring Your Mobile and Internet to Shanghai

  1. Is there a pay-as-you-go or pre-paid card scheme whereby visitors (ie non-SH residents) can use the TianYiTong Wireless LAN service ( in Starbucks to access the Internet?

  2. I didn’t heard of this service. I was also looking for it. I am the subscruber for ADSL and TianYiTong so I can use my username and password to access the Internet in Starbucks.

  3. GSM 1800 is working in Shanghai.

    Also, if you have the AT&T global account, it can be roamed in Shanghai. You can find the access number in the Global Dilaer Software.

  4. the GSM 900 Mhz is also the main frequency used in Europe.

    So for example German mobiles (t-online, vodafone) work very well in shanghai with German contracts (roaming; even expensive). Just take care with subsidized mobiles bought as special package with e.g in combination with a two years contract: sometimes you can’t use the mobile with other SIM-cards then (experience with austrian contracts ).

  5. The European mobile works in China, I used my Nokia( network) and Ericsson( Network), both worked in Shanghai and HangZhou. For my opinion, it is rather easier to but a prepaid mobile card with SIM card( on it, only costs you 20 Euro something(I am not very sure), then when you land in China, just replace the SIM card, and you are reachable by a number in China.

  6. Yes, both 900 and the newer 1800 are used in Europe but my phone only has 1800. I am glad to know 1800 is active in Shanghai but I suppose it would be better to have a 900/1800 phone for better coverage outside Shanghai so I may trade with a friend and take a dual band phone

    Where can I buy a SIM prepaid card for it when I arrive in Shanghai?

    Does the card itself cost a lot or if you pay (say) 250 RMB you get the full 250 RMB worth of calls?

    What is the cost per minute for local calls from a mobile?

  7. Hi Jianshuo,

    My friend will be living in Shanghai for few months, staying with relatives. He’s asking what’s the easiest way to subscribe to broadband providers. I heard there’s company called “Great Wall Broadband”? Can you give me more information regarding how to get internet access from residential places? Thanks!

  8. Where can I purchase China mobile refill airtime card before I go to Beijing. I already have a ShenZhouXing SIM Card.

    I am in Los Angeles, Ca.

  9. i had broadband when living in the minhang district.

    no problems good speed and access to the www. world wide web.

    I now have adsl and live in another district. I now have access to all chinese sites very fast and whenever I try to access

    any .com site i just get an error message that I am not connected to the internet. hopeless. I can access most sites via a proxy but this is useless as I cannot access any secure sites such as my server based e-mail in america and I cannot access my internet banking outside of china………..Called the adsl provider and the answer was ……”you are online as you can see chinese sites so therefore its your own problem” my reply to this is RIPOFF. they take the money and run. This is not a questin of the authorities policing the internet its just a bad service, access to cn and block everything else.

  10. umm i am doing this assignment in BCT and i have to research the country china and see if it would be appropriate for australians to set up a business in china. so i have to find out if australians mobiles are accessible in china?

    if you do no please comment me bak

    thanks xx

  11. Hey I wanted to know since I have the G1 for tmobile would it work in china with the chinese sim card once I unlocked my phone? And I wanted to know if you knew if the G1 is a GMS phone?

  12. I have an iphone unlocked so i would like to use a sim card from china with data…

    What would be your best recommendation??? I mean prepaid cards…

    Thanks a lot!!!

  13. Wow once again you are giving me just the info I need to know Jianshuo. Thanks! -Jeremy

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