Internet in China
China has the world’s largest Internet network following or net citizenry. It is extensive all over the country. By the end of December, 2012, some 564 million users were reported. However, the supporting infrastructure technology shortcomings need to be addressed.
Who are the internet providers in China and how much do they charge?
Answer: The broadband and mobile internet service providers are China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. Depending on different regional providers, one can get variant fee schedules. They charge their broadband service either monthly or yearly. Generally, monthly payment is higher than annual payment. Mobile internet charge is by the month. Contact the providers for details. Their hotlines are:
China Unicom: 10010 China Mobile: 10086 China Telecom: 10000
Can I access internet while in hotels?
Answer: Most hotels now provide free broadband or WiFi service. Some may have a fee paying Business Center for computer and internet service. Ask before you go.
How about the free WiFi access in public places?
Answer: Progressively more public places have free WiFi, especially in big cities. In Hangzhou, free outdoor WiFi is available in most urban areas as of October, 30th, 2012; in Hong Kong, WiFi is available free on all metro trains; in Beijing, you find it on some city buses; in Shanghai, free WiFi is available in public places like the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, and Xin Tian Di, etc; in other cities, it is there at airports and railway stations, in some bars, fast food and high-end restaurants, shopping malls, and etc; recently, WiFi access service becomes common on domestic flights. This is the current trend.
How can I access internet by my cell phone if WiFi is unavailable?
Answer: You buy a Chinese SIM card for the mobile internet service. Then you surf the internet from your cell phone.
I’ve heard about internet cafes. Do they exist in China?
Answer: Yes, internet cafes exist in many regions of the country, although they are in decline. Where you see the character "网吧 (wangba)", you can surf with a fee on a customer-use computer. Procedure: you get to the front desk and buy a card. You insert the card into the computer for internet access. If there is credit left on the card when you finish, you get a refund at the front desk. Note that the rules at internet cafes can vary widely. The cost varies from city to city, but do expect CNY 1-5 per hour.
Warnings for surfing in an internet bar:
1. Guard your personal belongings against theft.
2. Leave before 9:00 at night as a measure of security.
3. Never do online banking in an internet bar.
Can I logon onto Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc in China?
Answer: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc are blocked in China. If you want to open the pages, you would need help from proxy server providers.
Popular Websites & Online Tools for Daily Lives in Chinese:
News: www.xinhuanet.com, www.ifeng.com, www.sina.com.cn
Online Chat Tools: WeChat, Tencent QQ …
Videos: www.iqiyi.com, www.youku.com
Social Networks: TikTok, Weibo
Online Shopping: taobao.com, jd.com
Note: The above mentioned websites/tools are mostly in Chinese.
Major English Websites:
I don't have a Chinese Sim Card and it seems a lot of the places require a Chinese cellphone number to get the code to use the wifi, is that correct or can I use my South African number to use the free wifi?