Chinacom offers low-cost eSIMs for visitors to China. Plans start from US$5 (~¥36.20) and give you 4G coverage from China Unicom.

If you're planning a trip to China, one of the easiest ways to use your cellphone whilst you're there is with a Chinacom eSIM. This is only available for foreign visitors to China (as the local handsets purchased in China do not have support for eSIM).

You can get a Chinacom eSIM from US$5 (approximately ¥36.20) at Airalo. This will allow you to use your cellphone in China for up to 7 days. The Chinacom eSIM is available on a pre-paid basis for visitors to China and gives you an allowance of 4G mobile data to use whilst you're there.

In this article, we'll look at the Chinacom service in China, including how you're able to get it and the best Chinacom eSIM deals. We'll also look at the coverage available on a Chinacom eSIM, and the other ways of using your mobile phone in China (e.g. through international roaming).

Plans From: US$5 (~¥36.20) for 7 days
Best Deals:
Compatible Devices:
  • Apple iPhone 11 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer
  • Google Pixel 3 and newer
  • see more...
Coverage: 4G coverage (China Unicom)
Voucher Code:
  • Save 10% on all Chinacom eSIMs using KEN10 (new customers only)
  • Save 5% using the KEN5 voucher code (existing Airalo customers)

Chinacom Plans

If you're looking for an affordable way to use your cellphone when travelling in China, you can get a Chinacom eSIM from only US$5 (approximately ¥36.20) for 7 days usage.

To get a Chinacom eSIM, you'll need to have an eSIM-compatible device such as the iPhone 11, Galaxy S20, Pixel 3 or later devices. You can then order your Chinacom eSIM through the Airalo app with instant delivery direct to your phone. There's no need to queue at the airport or to register the Chinacom eSIM with your ID, saving you lots of time.

The following table shows the eSIM plans that are currently available from Chinacom in China:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
AiraloNoneNone1GBUS$5.00
(~¥36.20)
valid for 7 days
AiraloNoneNone2GBUS$8.50
(~¥61.50)
valid for 15 days
AiraloNoneNone3GBUS$11.50
(~¥83.20)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone5GBUS$16.50
(~¥119.30)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone10GBUS$28.00
(~¥202.50)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone20GBUS$49.00
(~¥354.40)
valid for 30 days

As a special offer for May 2024, you can get a 10% discount on all Chinacom eSIMs. Simply enter the KEN10 voucher code at checkout. This offer is only available if you're new to Airalo.

If you've already used an Airalo eSIM in the past, you can use the KEN5 voucher code to get a 5% discount on your plan.

See all Chinacom eSIM deals →

Once you've ordered your Chinacom eSIM, it will only activate when your cellphone actually connects to a supported network in China. This means the validity period will only begin when you actually land in China and turn your cellphone on.

Your Chinacom eSIM works with the dual-SIM function on most modern smartphones. This means you can use your regular SIM card alongside the Chinacom eSIM (e.g. to receive incoming phone calls and text messages on your normal phone number).

Alternatives to Chinacom

The main disadvantage of Chinacom is the fact you're getting a data-only service on the eSIM. You will not get a local phone number in China when you're using the Chinacom eSIM in your phone.

If you'd like to call or text whilst you're travelling in China, you'll need to use your normal SIM card instead (on which international roaming fees may apply). Alternatively, you can side-step these charges by making your calls through WhatsApp or other similar apps.

If you're looking for a more fully featured SIM card with a local phone number in China (starting with +86), you could consider getting a regular prepaid SIM card upon arrival instead. This will involve some additional hassle (e.g. queuing up at the airport to get your SIM card, a registration process for the SIM card, etc) but it can be preferable and better suited for longer-term use in China.

Chinacom Coverage

If you're using a Chinacom eSIM, you'll have access to 4G mobile coverage in China. This is provided by the following partner networks:

Coverage ProviderNetwork TypeCoverage Area
China Unicom4G LTEChina

There's no international roaming available on a Chinacom eSIM. Therefore, you won't be able to use it outside of China. If you're planning to visit multiple countries on your trip, you may need to get a separate eSIM for the other countries you visit.

Other Airalo eSIMs

Airalo's Chinacom eSIM can only be used in China.

If you're planning to visit multiple countries on your trip, you could consider getting a or Asialink or Discover eSIM. These eSIM plans will work in China, as well as a number of other countries.

eSIM

Airalo's eSIM will also work in China, giving you 4G coverage from China Unicom. In addition, you'll be able to use it in . The plans start from :

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
No price plans could be found matching this criteria.

Asialink eSIM

Airalo's Asialink eSIM will also work in China, giving you 4G & 5G coverage from China Unicom. In addition, you'll be able to use it in 17 other countries. The Asialink plans start from US$5 for 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
AsialinkNoneNone1GBUS$5.00
valid for 7 days
AsialinkNoneNone3GBUS$13.00
valid for 30 days
AsialinkNoneNone5GBUS$20.00
valid for 30 days
AsialinkNoneNone10GBUS$37.00
valid for 30 days
AsialinkNoneNone50GBUS$100.00
valid for 90 days
AsialinkNoneNone100GBUS$185.00
valid for 180 days

Discover eSIM

Airalo's Discover eSIM will also work in China, giving you 4G & 5G coverage from CMCC & UNICOM. In addition, you'll be able to use it in 125 other countries. The Discover plans start from US$9 for 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
DiscoverNoneNone1GBUS$9.00
valid for 7 days
DiscoverNoneNone2GBUS$17.00
valid for 15 days
DiscoverNoneNone3GBUS$24.00
valid for 30 days
DiscoverNoneNone5GBUS$35.00
valid for 60 days
DiscoverNoneNone10GBUS$59.00
valid for 180 days
DiscoverNoneNone20GBUS$69.00
valid for 365 days

Discover+ eSIM

The Discover+ eSIM works in a very similar way to the Discover eSIM, also allowing you to use your mobile phone in China. However, it adds the ability for you to make and recieve phone calls and SMS text messages on your eSIM. You'll be assigned a +43 phone number (based in Austria) to use for calling and texting.

The Discover+ plans currently start from US$15 for 10 minutes, 10 texts and 1GB of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
Discover+10101GBUS$15.00
valid for 7 days
Discover+20202GBUS$27.00
valid for 15 days
Discover+30303GBUS$36.00
valid for 30 days
Discover+50505GBUS$50.00
valid for 60 days
Discover+10010010GBUS$79.00
valid for 180 days
Discover+20020020GBUS$89.00
valid for 365 days

Other Country Specific eSIMs

You can also buy other country-specific eSIMs from Airalo, including the following:

For more information, read our Airalo review.

More Information

For more information about Chinacom, please see the Airalo website.

Your Comments 4 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken
    Love this site!
    I’m off to South Africa in Feb 24 and I have a EE contract, they however do not cover that Country in their Data Roaming, what is the best way I can use my phone over there please?
    Get a sim when I land or do you know any other deals
    Thanks
    Richard

  • I just arrived in the USA and Airalo is amazing – I bought the the sim on the airport wifi, and had it fully set up and on the network before I got to LAX baggage claim! So easy, no paperwork, didn’t need to find a shop/kiosk, queue, open up the phone or any of that nonsense. Also with dual sim capability I’m still able to use my British number for receiving sms/iMessage.

    It’s good coverage too, and it automatically swaps between AT&T or T-Mobile depending on the area. I’d highly recommend it and look forward to using it in other places in the future.

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