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The best prepaid eSIM Plans for China in 2024 (+ Built-in VPN)

Data, Duration, Local Networks, use of Whatsapp, Google, Facebook: we scanned and analysed the best data eSIM plans for China

Published: May 23, 2023

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Last updated : February 24th, 2024

When planning a trip to China, staying connected is a top priority. With the advent of eSIM technology, travelers can now enjoy seamless connectivity without the hassle of physical SIM cards. In this article, we'll explore the best prepaid eSIM plans for China you can find on esims.io's China plans page, helping you stay connected with ease and affordability.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a built-in chip in a device that eliminates the need for a physical SIM card. eSIMs are supported by a growing number of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. If you are not sure your device is compatible, checkout this link.

Why Choose an eSIM for a Trip to China?

eSIMs provide instant connectivity. You can download your eSIM before your trip and connect as soon as you land in China. The eSIM allows you to get a mobile connectivity solution ready before you travel.

This is particularly important in China, where internet access is heavily regulated by the Great Firewall. Many popular apps and websites, such as Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger, are blocked, and only local apps like Baidu and WeChat are accessible. If you want to continue using your usual apps while in China, you'll need a VPN that isn't flagged by China's system or another solution for internet traffic routing.

We will come to that, as many eSIM plans' have their internet traffic routed externally and "act as a VPN", meaning they allow you to access apps supposed to be blocked.

Secondly, in order to activate any local SIM card, the Chinese government mandates the submission of biometric data, such as a face scan and fingerprints, along with your passport. So for enhanced privacy, it is advisable to purchase a SIM card online from an international provider prior to your travel. With eSIM comes instantaneous delivery. This is a significant advantage over traditional SIM cards.

Lastly, one of the major advantages of an eSIM is the ability to use dual SIM functionality on your device. This dual SIM setup (here for iPhone) allows you to stay connected with your contacts back home using your main number (Calls & SMS), while the eSIM provides you with local data for browsing and other internet activities in China such as WhatsApp and other messaging apps. This way, you can enjoy unrestricted internet access while traveling across China without roaming fees.

In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into the benefits of eSIMs and discuss the best eSIM plans for China.

The best eSIM Plans for your trip to China

Mainland China - MOGO

The cost of eSIM data plans for use in China can vary significantly depending on factors such as the amount of data provided, the duration of the plan, and the number of countries in which the eSIM can be used. This variability ensures that you can find a plan that fits your specific needs and budget.

Data

5 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇹🇳 China

Data only

Network(s) : China Unicom (4G, 3G)

$8.80

$1.76/GB
Learn more â€ș

For $8.8, you get MOGO eSIM's eSIM China Mainland, complete with 5 GB of data. That's roughly $1.76 per GB. This deal lasts 30 days, and yeah, it supports 4G, 3G speeds.

On the other hand, if you're planning a longer stay or anticipate heavy data usage, MOGO also offers a 10 GB eSIM valid for 90 days at a cost of $20.00, or $2.00 per GB. This plan provides a larger data allowance and a longer validity period, making it suitable for extended trips or heavy data users.

Data

10 GB

Validity90 day(s)

🇹🇳 China

Data only

Network(s) : China Unicom (4G, 3G)

$17.50

$1.75/GB
Learn more â€ș

Both eSIM plans are offering great value and the ability to use the China Unicom network. One cool feature, is that when you reach the end of your plan, you will still be able to use mobile data, but at 2G speeds(128 kbps) afterwards. You will not be able to do much at those speeds, probably just receive notifications or WhatsApp text messages but it is definitely more convenient than to buy a new eSIM plan for instance.

To get WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, etc. - UPeSIM

The UPeSIM China eSIM plan is a great option for your travel to China. This plan not only offers 10 GB of data for 10 days at a cost-effective rate of €2 per GB, but it also comes with a unique feature - a built-in VPN.

Data

10 GB

Validity30 day(s)

🇹🇳 China

Data only

Network(s) : Network China Unicom (4G, LTE)

$21.31

$2.13/GB
Learn more â€ș

In China, the internet is regulated by what's known as the "Great Firewall". This means that many popular apps and websites, including Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, are blocked. However, with a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, your internet traffic is routed through servers located outside of China, allowing (in principle - sometimes VPNs get identified and blocked) you to bypass these restrictions and access your favorite apps and websites as usual.

The UPeSIM plan's built-in VPN is a game-changer for travellers in China. It means that you don't need to worry about setting up a separate VPN service to stay connected. Instead, the VPN comes with your eSIM plan, providing you with unrestricted internet access from the moment you activate your eSIM.

This feature is particularly beneficial for travellers who rely on apps like WhatsApp for communication. With the UPeSIM plan, you can continue to use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues back home, despite the app being blocked in China.

Moreover, the built-in VPN also allows you to continue using Google services, such as Google Maps and Gmail, which can be crucial tools when traveling.

Macao and Hong-Kong - eTravelSim

Other providers also offer competitive eSIM plan compatible in other territories. For example, eTravelSim offers an eSIM for use in China mainland, Macao, and Hong Kong with 10 GB of data valid for 30 days at a cost of $22, or $2.2 per GB.

$22.99

$2.30/GB
Learn more â€ș

China + other Asian countries - Nomad

Our top recommendation for a regional plan that is compatible in China and other Asian countries is the Regional APAC - 45 Days - 20 GB REGIONAL plan by Nomad. This plan offers a generous 20 GB of data, valid for 45 days, and covers 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including China.

Data

20 GB

Validity45 day(s)

20 countries

Data only

$29.00

$1.45/GB
Learn more â€ș

For $37, the Nomad plan is good value, costing just $1.85 per GB. This makes it an excellent choice for travelers who require a substantial amount of data for browsing, streaming, and staying connected with friends and family back home.

One of the key advantages of this plan is its regional coverage. Besides China, the plan is also compatible in 15 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes popular travel destinations like Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. This broad coverage makes the Nomad plan an ideal choice for travellers planning to visit multiple countries in the region.

Conclusion

In conclusion, staying connected while traveling in China is essential for a smooth and enjoyable trip. With the advent of eSIM technology, travellers can now enjoy seamless connectivity without the need for physical SIM cards. This article has explored various eSIM plans for China, each offering unique features and benefits to cater to different travel needs.

From instant connectivity to bypassing China's Great Firewall, eSIMs offer a host of advantages. The dual SIM functionality allows you to maintain your primary number while using local data, ensuring uninterrupted communication and internet access.

We've reviewed various eSIM plans available on esims.io's China plans page, each offering different data allowances, durations, and prices. Whether you're planning a short trip or an extended stay, there's an eSIM plan that fits your needs and budget.

In particular, the UPeSIM China eSIM LOCAL plan stands out with its built-in VPN feature, providing unrestricted internet access despite China's internet regulations. This feature ensures a more convenient and enjoyable travel experience.

However, the journey doesn't end here. esims.io lists many more eSIM offers for over 200 countries worldwide. Whether you're traveling to China or any other part of the world, there's an eSIM plan waiting for you:

Yesimlogo

China

Yesim

$19.18

GlobaleSIMlogo

China

GlobaleSIM

$19.80

Redteagologo

Mainland China

Redteago

$7.97

Jetpaclogo

Globetrotter 1GB

Jetpac

$1.00

GlobaleSIMlogo

China

GlobaleSIM

$10.80

Stay connected, travel smart, and make the most of your journey with the right eSIM plan. Safe travels!

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