I'm traveling to China where according to multiple sources (power-plugs-sockets.com/china/, travelchinaguide.com/essential/electricity.htm, iec.ch/world-plugs, wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country) there are several socket types. How widespread are each one? And how can I figure that out for other countries as well?

  • 8
    Are you affiliated with power-plugs-sockets? This is the second time you post on this site with a link to it.
    – Cow
    Jan 23 at 10:55
  • 1
    We prefer Wikipedia, which usually has information updated (random sites tents to forgot updates). Jan 23 at 11:01
  • @Cow not affiliated at all. But not being knowledgeable about the topic I found the site quite convenient to compare my plugs with their sockets. Mar 12 at 9:04
  • Would it not be easier to find a universal adapter (or two) that will adjust whatever plug you have to all the different sockets found in China and not worry about it?
    – FreeMan
    Mar 12 at 13:10
  • It is now that know how uncommon is my socket type in China. Ideally I still would like a source to check how common are each socket in each country. Mar 13 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


For China, it's not straightforward. I will depend where. I go every week to Shenzhen, and in many places they have plugs that accept just about anything, including the UK-style plug that is used in HK. But not always. In the north, and west of the Heihe–Tengchong Line, the UK plug is absent, except maybe in good hotels.

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What you will find most of the time, if not always, just about everywhere is the US-style 2-blade plug, and the 3-blade plug I've only seen in China, two blades being at opposite 45° angles. If you're lucky the US-like plug will also European-style round plugs (but it's not always the case).

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Here's what the electric plugs at my favorite coffee shop in Shenzhen look like. As you can see they take just about anything, except UK plugs, and have 3 USB ports too.

enter image description here


As noted below in the comments by @quarague, regardless of the shape of the plug, it's 220V (more like 230 these days). Make sure your device accepts that.

  • 7
    The three-blade plug (Type I) is also used in Australia/NZ, various neighboring countries and, oddly, Argentina. Jan 23 at 11:29
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    I would add that China consistently has 220V. So even if the plug takes an American style plug, you need to make sure that the gadget you are trying to plug in can handle 220V.
    – quarague
    Jan 24 at 9:41
  • Thanks! I thought of it while typing, and of course when it was time to add it I had already forgotten.
    – dda
    Jan 24 at 9:46
  • Argentina is actually how I learned that my universal travel adapter actually fits the three-blade plug by allowing the American style prongs to twist. I'd never actually tried using that particular adapter before since all my electronics have US plugs anyway. Mar 12 at 10:11

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