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Updated: 2017-02-15

International calls can be made directly from hotel rooms with IDD lines. Some large post offices also offer this service. Otherwise, look for roadside kiosks with an IDD sign. An inexpensive way to make long distance calls is to use an IP (Internet Tel) card, which costs about 4.8 yuan per minute, less than half the rate of an IDD call. IP cards can be bought at hotels, Internet cafes and newsstands, and are available in both English and Chinese. You may also use Internet-based services such as QQ, MS Messenger and Skype.

Cell Phones

If you are going to be staying in Beijing for even a short time, it may prove economical to purchase a prepaid Chinese SIM card for your cell phone. There are two mobile operators in China, China Mobile and China Unicom. Both offer a range of prepaid packages, starting at around 50 yuan for the SIM, depending on the appeal of the phone number (Chinese people are generally superstitious about numbers, so some phone numbers are more desirable than others). It costs to receive calls so you will be required to purchase a minimum 50-yuan "top-up" card initially. Calls to Beijing landlines or cells are charged at a fixed rate of between 0.2 yuan and 0.6 yuan per minute. Received calls cost between 0.1 yuan and 0.4 yuan per minute, and text messages have a fixed price of 0.1 yuan per message. China Mobile offers an English-language operator assistance line, 10086, and China Unicom's service can be reached by calling 10010. To avoid high costs on long-distance calls, add 17951 before the number. Both operators offer GSM standards, while China Unicom also offers CDMA.

Internet and E-mail

There are many Internet cafes in central Beijing, and the cost is 3-15 yuan ($0.23-$2) per hour for a relatively high-speed connection. They are generally open all night. Many bars and cafes also offer free Wi-Fi services. Internet access and other high-tech services are increasingly available in hotel business centers, but prices are high.

Communication and Internet Service

Service: Fixed phone and Internet service

Provider: Beijing branch of China Unicom

Hotline: 10010


Service: Fixed phone and Internet service

Provider: Beijing Company Limited of China Telecom

Hotline: 10000


Service: Mobile phone service

Provider: Beijing Branch of China Mobile

Hotline: 10086


Service: Mobile phone (CDMA) service

Provider: Beijing branch of China Unicom

Hotline: 10010


Provider: Fixed phone service

Provider: Beijing branch of China Tietong

Hotline: 10050


Postal Service

If you want to send items such as antiques or cultural relics, you must consult a branch of the International Post & Telecommunications Office. This international post office and its branches offer services including remittances, money orders, telegraphic money transfers, and international and domestic telephone and telegraph services. There is also a customs office for customs clearance in the Jianguomen branch, packages can also be collected, and you can send postcards, letters and express mail via EMS, DHL, FedEx and UPS. Hotels also offer postal services. [NOTE: please clarify this last sentence which I have deleted – please discuss with me, if you wish]

Jianguomen Post Office (a branch of the Beijing International Post Office)

Address: Jianguomen Beidajie, Dongcheng District

Tel: +86 10 6512 8120


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