Improved telecom services make expats feel at home| June 11, 2024


Expats at a service hall of one of Shanghai's China Mobile branches. [Photo/Shanghai Communications Administration]

Stephen Roe, an English chemical engineer who has been living in China for 14 years, has been impressed by the progress Shanghai has made in telecommunications services. 

He first came to China over two decades ago. At that time, he had to use a SIM card he brought from the United Kingdom, and he had to pay an expensive roaming charge. Things have changed dramatically, Roe said. Now the city provides various local telecom solutions to foreign travelers, making their lives in the city easier. 

Now the Shanghai branch of China Telecom, one of the country's three major telecom operators, offers short-term phone card services with validity periods of 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days in order to cater to the needs of visitors staying in Shanghai for a short period.

Video: China Telecom's new short-term SIM cards. [Shanghai Eye, Shanghai Media Group]

Moreover, the mobile carrier is set to open a service center in Terminal 1 of Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with staff proficient in English to help foreigners access local telecom services upon arrival.

China Unicom, another telecom operator, offers an around-the-clock English hotline service (10010) for expats. And since its English WeChat account (WOShanghai) was launched in 2015, it has helped nearly 150,000 foreigners get information about telecom services. 

Another major telecom carrier, China Mobile, supports the city's English emergency hotline (120) to help foreigners in distress. 


Source: Shanghai Communications Administration