Tag Archives: phone in shanghai

How to recharge a China Mobile card in English

The title of today’s post suggests this has been something I’ve found difficult to do without the help of the lovely lady in the convenience store who obviously thinks I’m as retarded as I look.

However, today the shopkeep’s daughter was crying in the store and she was pre-occupied with other customers so I got the card and went on my merry way. Now, the problem with recharging the card is that the English instructions aren’t very clear, in fact, they are downright confusing. However, I don’t blame China Mobile – I live in a country of a bazillion Mandarin speakers so I really should be able to understand the Chinese instructions better.

But, I don’t (yet). So, if you’re in the same boat as me then follow these instructions on how to set up and recharge a Chine Mobile pre-pay account. Don’t try and understand what is being said…just follow these instructions:

1. Purchase a pre-pay sim if you don’t already have one.
2. Put it in your phone
3. Purchase a China Mobile pre-pay recharge card
4. Scratch off the coat to get the PIN number
5. Dial 13800138000
6. The automated service will begin. Press 2 for English, then press 2, then press 1#, and then 1 to confirm.
7. You will now be prompted for the PIN number which is the scratched off bit on your card. After entering it hit the # key.
8. It will say something like ‘wait a minute’ before it confirms that your card is now charged and ready to go. If you have fat triangle fingers and screwed it up then go back to 7.

That’s it. At any time you should be able to ring up 10086 and find out how much credit you have left on the pre-pay account. Normally you’ll get 1-2 txt messages a day warning you before it’s over as well. If you’re expecting important calls it’s noteworthy to not let it expire as people won’t be able to call you if you don’t recharge the card.