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A group of German tourists who are going to China are looking for options to have a SIM card with a data plan while staying there.

Their own experience from previous trips, as well as some posts here (e.g. this one, or this one) indicate it can be difficult to get one without a Chinese ID card. As they will be travelling in a group, they cannot spend much time roaming the respective cities of their stay on their own to find "main offices".

There seem to be some options for SIM cards that can be ordered before the trip, while still in Europe, such as this one, or this one. These providers advertise quite large data packets (in the GB range).

Are such offers reliable?

I am wondering because they also advertise the absence of Chinese internet censorship, which cannot be something the Chinese government likes a lot. Thus, I'm afraid buying such a card might leave the tourists without service during the trip, as the Chinese authorities might "pull the plug" for such a service provider at any moment.

  • Renting an international mifi would be way more efficient and reliable. Yes that's data only but oh well, you can make calls with VoIP. – chx Sep 6 at 21:54
  • At the close-voter: I entirely fail to see how this qualifies as a question "on price-shopping for specific goods or services". – O. R. Mapper Sep 7 at 7:57
  • @chx: That sounds interesting, and data only is fully okay. However, I suppose this makes the question whether an international mifi really is "more (...) reliable", i.e. do Chinese censorship agencies pull the plug on foreign SIM connections more often than for international mifi connections? Also, in what way is it "more efficient"? The fact that it's an extra device that the phone has to connect to (a somewhat serious hurdle for non-tech-affine people who are still struggling with the difference between "wifi" and "mobile data") doesn't make it sound so at first glance. Do you think ... – O. R. Mapper Sep 7 at 8:08
  • ... you can provide an answer here, or does the information you have in mind rather warrant a separate question (that asks specifically about SIM vs. mifi or something) to be really fitting for a good Q&A? – O. R. Mapper Sep 7 at 8:09
  • It's more efficient because I was thinking it's a group and you could share the connection. And I can't write an answer because it would require linking specific products easily found by a Google search china mifi rent. And I've seen ones offer VPN as an extra to avoid the great firewall. As you don't own the SIM, I believe it sidesteps the issues you outlined. – chx Sep 7 at 9:35

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