As the bustling Shanghai Pudong Airport welcomes travelers from all corners of the globe, ensuring seamless connectivity has become a top priority.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various options available for purchasing a SIM card at this international travel hub, ensuring you stay connected throughout your journey.

sim card at shanghai pudong airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Shanghai Pudong Airport

Arrival Halls and Terminal Counters

Upon landing at Shanghai Pudong Airport, you'll find dedicated counters and kiosks strategically located within the arrival halls of both terminals.

Upon landing at Shanghai Pudong Airport, you’ll find dedicated counters and kiosks strategically located within the arrival halls of both terminals. These counters are operated by major Chinese telecom providers such as China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. Here, you can conveniently purchase a SIM card and choose from various data plans tailored to your needs.

Vending Machines and Self-Service Kiosks

Vending Machines and Self-Service Kiosks

For added convenience, Shanghai Pudong Airport has embraced technology by introducing self-service kiosks and vending machines scattered throughout the terminals. These automated solutions allow you to purchase a SIM card quickly and efficiently, without the need for human interaction. Simply follow the on-screen instructions, make your payment, and collect your SIM card.

Mobile Service Stores

If you prefer a more personalized experience, mobile service stores operated by the major telecom providers are located within the airport premises

If you prefer a more personalized experience, mobile service stores operated by the major telecom providers are located within the airport premises. These stores offer a wide range of SIM card options, as well as knowledgeable staff who can guide you through the purchase process and assist with any queries you may have.

For more detailed information on facilities and services available at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, check out their official website by clicking here: Check airport website

II. Shanghai Pudong Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

II. Shanghai Pudong Airport SIM Card Options and Costs
NetworkPlanCost (RMB)Cost (USD)DataNotes
China MobileDaily Data Plan18 RMB/month~$2.60/month1 RMB/1GB dailyCheapest option for light data use. Prices may vary.
China Mobile30 Day Unlimited Plan128 RMB/month~$18.40/month30GB full speed dataGood value for moderate use
China Mobile60 Day Unlimited Plan238 RMB/month~$34.20/month40GB full speed dataMore data than 30 day plan
China Unicom1 Month Data-Only SIM30 RMB~$4.304GBData-only SIM, no calling minutes
China Unicom7 Day Tourist SIM58 RMB~$8.352GBValid for 7 days, no Chinese registration required
China Unicom Hong Kong1 Month SIM128 HKD (~160 RMB)~$22.908GBBypasses censorship, accepts foreign cards
Note: All prices are approximations and subject to change based on exchange rates and individual carrier/provider pricing. Please check exact rates with the network or provider.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Shanghai Pudong Airport

What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Shanghai Pudong Airport

Passport and Identification

To purchase a SIM card at Shanghai Pudong Airport, you’ll need to present a valid passport or other government-issued identification document. This is a mandatory requirement for all telecom providers in China.

Cash 

While some carriers allow online top ups, you will need some cash on hand to purchase the SIM card and make the initial top up payment. Accepted forms of cash payment include Chinese RMB or Chinese credit/debit cards. International cards are sometimes accepted at airport stores but may incur a surcharge.

Language Assistance

While airport stores generally have English speaking staff, be prepared to point to items on their menu boards or show written Chinese if the staff speak limited English. Having simple phrases like the phonetic pronunciations of data plan names handy can help. Consider asking a Chinese friend to accompany you if possible.

Phone

Have your unlocked smartphone with you so the staff can help configure the SIM for your device after purchase. Phones are also sometimes checked to ensure compatibility with the carrier’s network.

IV eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Shanghai Pudong Airport

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM card that is integrated into your smartphone or device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card. This technology allows you to easily switch between mobile carriers and data plans without the hassle of physically swapping SIM cards.

eSIM Options at Shanghai Pudong Airport

While physical SIM cards are more commonly available at Shanghai Pudong Airport, eSIM options are gradually gaining popularity. One reputable provider is chinaesim.com, which offers eSIM data plans specifically designed for travelers visiting China.

By purchasing an eSIM from chinaesim.com, you can have your eSIM profile delivered directly to your compatible smartphone before arriving in China. This eliminates the need to visit a physical store or counter at the airport, providing a seamless and convenient connectivity solution.

  • All Plans
  • Local
  • Multi Countries
Operator
Plan Name
Plan Validity
Data
Price

China eSIM 3GB total - 5 days

3GB
5 days
$7.00
China eSIM 3GB total - 5 days

China eSIM 3GB total - 5 days

5 days

3GB

$7.00

China eSIM 10GB total - 5 days

10GB
5 days
$15.50
China eSIM 10GB total - 5 days

China eSIM 10GB total - 5 days

5 days

10GB

$15.50

China eSIM 5GB total - 7 days

5GB
7 days
$11.00
China eSIM 5GB total - 7 days

China eSIM 5GB total - 7 days

7 days

5GB

$11.00

China eSIM 1GB/day - 7 days

1GB/day
7 days
$13.00
China eSIM 1GB/day - 7 days

China eSIM 1GB/day - 7 days

7 days

1GB/day

$13.00

China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

10GB
10 days
$11.90
China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

10 days

10GB

$11.90

China eSIM 3GB/days - 15 days

3GB/day
15 days
$52.00
Top Selling
China eSIM 3GB/days - 15 days

China eSIM 3GB/days - 15 days

Top Selling
15 days

3GB/day

$52.00

China eSIM 20GB total - 30 days

20GB
30 days
$36.90
China eSIM 20GB total - 30 days

China eSIM 20GB total - 30 days

30 days

20GB

$36.90

Greater China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

10GB
10 days
$30.50
Greater China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

Greater China eSIM 10GB total - 10 days

10 days

10GB

$30.50

Greater China eSIM 4GB/day - 15 days

4GB/day
15 days
$61.50
Greater China eSIM 4GB/day - 15 days

Greater China eSIM 4GB/day - 15 days

15 days

4GB/day

$61.50

China Vietnam eSIM 8GB total - 7 days

8GB
7 days
$45.00
China Vietnam eSIM 8GB total - 7 days

China Vietnam eSIM 8GB total - 7 days

7 days

8GB

$45.00

By ordering an eSIM plan from Chinaesim.com before the trip, travelers can avoid the crowd and higher prices at airport stores. Plans are valid nationwide in China and support both China Mobile and China Unicom networks.

Mobile freedom abroad. Get an eSIM from Chinaesim.com

V. FAQs

From which operators can I get a SIM card at the airport?

The three major Chinese operators – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – all have stores at Shanghai Pudong Airport where you can purchase SIM cards.

Do I need to show ID to buy a SIM?

Yes, Chinese law requires that travelers show their passport when purchasing a SIM card in China. The seller will need to photocopy your passport information for registration purposes.

What plans are available?

All three operators offer monthly plans providing a combination of data and talk time. Popular options for travelers include China Mobile’s “Daily Rate SIM” which charges 1 RMB per GB of data, or the various “Global Plans” which provide set amounts of data and minutes valid nationwide.

How much will it cost?

SIM-only plans at the airport may be slightly more expensive than stores in the city. Expect to pay around 80-100 RMB for a plan with 3-5 GB of data and 100-200 minutes. The Daily Rate SIM is only 18 RMB per month.

Can I top up funds online later?

Yes, once activated most SIM cards can be topped up through the WeChat Wallet app using a foreign credit card without needing Chinese cash.

Conclusion

Staying connected during your visit to Shanghai is essential, and Shanghai Pudong Airport offers a variety of convenient options for purchasing a SIM card or eSIM. Whether you prefer the traditional route of purchasing a physical SIM card from telecom providers like China Mobile, China Unicom, or China Telecom, or the modern convenience of an eSIM from platforms like chinaesim.com, you’ll find a solution that suits your needs.

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