But back to China. So we were in desperate need for 3G internet.

Be careful about the SIM card you buy

Soon after our arrival we told our guide that we need 3G Internet for our jobs and so she walked with the group (others needed SIMs as well) to a local CHINA MOBILE store. If I remember correctly a mobile SIM with about  5GB data package came to a whopping approx 80 Dollars. Yes. You read correct.  80 United States Dollars for what you get in most other countries for 10-15 bucks. Mobile Internet is a luxury for the rich in China.

So we put the SIM into my mobile. Hmmm.. works. but very slow. Ah only GPRS Edge. Put it into Andreas mobile. Still slow. So I tried every possible setting I could come up with, but it didn’t get faster – the phones just refused to switch to 3G. We then found out that China, back in the day, didn’t want to pay the license fees for the 3G mobile standard, so they “invented” their own version of it. Needless to say that this stuff is not working with western phones at all. So 80 dollars for super slow,mostly useless, internet.

But you need a VPN

GPRS Edge in itself is useable, even if slow. But as we are working with Google products a lot in our company and Google is blocked in China, we need to use a VPN service to get around the “Great Firewall” as they call their internet censorship. Express VPN, although being a paid service and highly recommended on the internet, had problems to connect with its servers when the connection speed was very slow. Connections timed out a lot when trying to connect to a server and it took sometimes up to two hours, just to activate the VPN service. Thats not so much of an issue when you use internet mainly for private purposes, but when you have fixed meeting times, its not funny at all.