One question we get a lot is about phones – can you use your phone in China? Should you get a local plan? How much do phones cost there? Here is an overview of some basics, but as with anything, we encourage you to do your own research, and call the recruitment team if you’re unsure of anything. We’ve all been there before.
Should I get an international plan or one in China? Get one in China – this is easy. Cancel your local plan and get one in China. Plans in China are cheap. I used an iPhone and tons of data as well as international calling and spent the equivalent of about $35 a month at most.
Can I take the device I have right now? I have known people who have done this, though some are unable to get the phones they bring to work. So if you have a device, you can bring it and try, but note that it might not work, and in that case you will need to get a new phone. They cost about the same as they do in the US, they are just a little behind sometimes with the latest releases. You also have the option of bringing an unlocked phone that will certainly work.
How does international calling work? You can call from your Chinese number to foreign phone numbers by adding international calling to your plan but only in cases where you have to reach someone that only has a landline is this logical. There are so many ways you can call for free it’s better to take advantage of this. I’ve used Skype, Viber, and Wechat and there are so many more that you can use so long as you are connected to wifi or data. The world is so global now we can stay connected with family and friends so get set up and plan with your contacts before you leave so it’s easier once you get there.
Can I access social media that is blocked in China on my phone? Just as with on your computer, you will need a VPN to access any sites or applications that are blocked in China. It is easy though to get apps for a variety of these, some free and some paid.
So when you’re packing your bags, think about what you want and whatever you do, don’t get an international plan from your home country. Embrace your new life in China!