Plugs and sockets in China

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Before packing for your Beijing Tour or China Tour, it is necessary to have some basic knowledge of the electricity in China, its plug and socket system as well.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China,  make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

If you have some questions with your plugs, sockets, and Voltage while traveling China, please read the full article.

What Voltage is Used in China?
Basically there are two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz (mostly used in USA), and the other is the standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz (mostly used in Europe).

China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V).

Just list some of the Country Voltage Frequency:
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz
Armenia 220 V 50 Hz
Australia 240 V 50 Hz
Austria 230 V 50 Hz
Belgium 230 V 50 Hz
Brazil 110/220 V 60 Hz
Brunei 240 V 50 Hz
Bulgaria 230 V 50 Hz
Canada 120 V 60 Hz
China, People’s Rep. of 220 V 50 Hz
China (Hong Kong) 220 V 50 Hz
Czech Republic 230 V 50 Hz
Denmark 230 V 50 Hz
England (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Finland 230 V 50 Hz
France 230 V 50 Hz
French Guiana 220 V 50 Hz
Germany 230 V 50 Hz
Great Britain (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Greece 220 V 50 Hz
Holland (Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz
Hong Kong (China) 220 V 50 Hz
Hungary 230 V 50 Hz
Iceland 220 V 50 Hz
India 230 V 50 Hz
Indonesia 127/230 V 50 Hz
Ireland (Eire) 230 50 Hz
Israel 220 V 50 Hz
Italy 230 V 50 Hz
Japan 100 V 50/60 Hz
Korea, South 220 V 60 Hz
Luxembourg 220 V 50 Hz
Macau 220 V 50 Hz
Malaysia 240 V 50 Hz
Mexico 127 V 60 Hz
Netherlands Antilles 127/220 V 50 Hz
New Zealand 230 V 50 Hz
Northern Ireland 230 V 50 Hz
Norway 230 V 50 Hz
Philippines 220 V 60 Hz
Poland 230 V 50 Hz
Portugal 230 V 50 Hz
Romania 230 V 50 Hz
Russia 220 V 50 Hz
Saudi Arabia 127/220 V 60 Hz
South Africa 220/230 V 50 Hz
Spain 230 V 50 Hz
Swaziland 230 V 50 Hz
Sweden 230 V 50 Hz
Switzerland 230 V 50 Hz
Taiwan 110 V 60 Hz
Thailand 220 V 50 Hz
Turkey 230 V 50 Hz
United Arab Emirates 220 V 50 Hz
UK (United Kingdom) 230 V 50 Hz
US (United States) 120 V 60 Hz
Venezuela 120 V 60 Hz
Vietnam 127/220 V 50 Hz

Converters
If you are from the countries where the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz is available, you need to have converters for your domestic electric devices to be used on your trip to China. You may prepare yourself a converter with a socket of your home country’s standard.

A converter is an implement that converts the input from 220V to 110V or 120V for your device. Most laptops have international converters without any problem.

Plugs and Sockets in China
At present, there is no global standard for plugs and sockets. Traditionally the plugs and sockets are classified into several regional standards in the world like American standard, European standard, British standard, South African standard and Chinese standard.

The standard for Chinese plugs and sockets is set out in GB 2099.1–2008 and GB 1002–2008. Chinese plugs and sockets are similar to those in Australia.

A Chinese plug may fit loosely in an Australian socket, but thick pins of an Australian plug may not fit easily in a Chinese socket. In China, the sockets are installed upside-down compared to Australian ones.

A standard socket on a wall in China has two pins on the upper part and earthed three pins on the lower part.

Chinese Standard Socket on a wall – Two Pins and Three Pins


You may buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. Most of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adaptors.

A portable plug

A Chinese standard portable socket

 

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Sockets and plugs in use

Sockets and plugs in use

As you see, in China, some locally made electric devices have two-prong plugs and others three-prong plugs. If your devices cannot fit into the two-prong or three-prong plugs, you need to prepare yourself for a plug adapter or a converter with a socket of your country’s standard.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China, make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

Add On
How to recognise Chinese currency
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers
What to Bring for China Trip
Top 10 Places to Visit in China

06611Tip: Hassle-free China Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

China Highlight Tourfrom US$1050 p/p
(Beijing Xian Shanghai)

China Splendid Tourfrom US$1365 p/p
(Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai)

China Romantic Yangtze River Tourfrom US$1675 p/p
( Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang and Shanghai)

China Mysterious Tibet Tourfrom US$ 2070 p/p
(Beijing Xian Lhasa Shanghai)

Further Readings


Top 10 Places in China
Chinese Phrases for Travellers
Plugs and sockets in China
What to Bring for China Trip
How to recognise Chinese currency
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
How to get a Chinese Visa

Any questions, just drop a line.

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25 Responses to “Plugs and sockets in China”

  1. Doreen Keston says:

    We are travelling to Beijing and Shanghai and would like to know whether our european plugs (2 round pins) will fit into the electrical sockets in China. We also have adaptors for the 2 round pins plugs to fit into the UK sockets (3 square pins) but are also not sure whether they would be suitable for China. Would be grateful for your feedback. Thanks

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello Doreen Keston,

    Neither European plugs nor UK plugs fit into the electrical sockets in China. Having travelled to UK and some European countries, each time I had to use an adaptor. You’better be ready for an adaptor before going to China. Or you may ask your lodging hotel in China to offer you an adaptor.

  3. Doreen Keston says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Would a 3-Pin AU / US / UK / EU to AU Travel Power Plug Adapter be suitable for use in China?

  4. Daniel says:

    Hello Doreen Keston,

    No, they are all not suitable for the use in China. Basically you need to use an adaptor.

  5. Doreen Keston says:

    Hi again Daniel,

    I have not been able to find an adaptor that specifically states for use in China (checked on DX.com). Could you please recommend one or direct me to a website which sells them. Thanks

  6. Daniel says:

    Hello Doreen Keston,

    I don’t have a website on hand.

    1. Most hotels in China have adaptors used for travelers.
    2. Looking for adaptors in the chain stores of Carrefour or other stores for adaptors.
    3. Or you may buy one here in China.

  7. Chi says:

    can I connect a normal UK extension to a socket converter in China?

  8. Daniel says:

    Hello Chi,

    Basically, you are required to have a special socket adaptor – one side for UK plug and the other side for Chinese plug.

  9. Yvonne says:

    Hello. My family will be going from UK to China for a holiday this summer. I get it that we will need adaptors to recharge the vast numbers of UK bought gadgets that is now part of our lives. However, depending on where I get them from, I either get a 2 pin or 3 pin type adaptor plug, both claiming to be ok for use in China. Will both types work? I did not realise that voltage could be an issue – will we also need transformers, given we use 240V (or something like that) in UK?

  10. Daniel says:

    Hello Yvonne,

    2 pin or 3 pin type adaptor plugs are in use in China. But 3 pin type adaptor plugs are getting popular simply because 3 pin type adaptor plugs are safer.

    Last time I traveled UK and I didn’t use transformers for all my mobile and computers bought in China. Most of the gadgets are quite flexible in terms of voltage.

  11. Esther Sim says:

    Is voltage in xinjiang, China same as Singapore. Do I need a convertor or transformer?

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi Esther Sim,

    Basically there are two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the standard of 120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz, and the other is the standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz. China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V).

    Electricity in Singapore is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Beijing and other parts of China, you will need a voltage converter and a plug adapter.

  13. Dylan Westbury says:

    A Chinese plug may fit loosely in an Australian socket, but thick pins of an Australian plug may not fit easily in a Chinese socket.

    ( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º)( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º)( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º)

  14. Gordon says:

    US plugs fit in sockets in China, they’re multi-country.

  15. Geoff Clar4k says:

    Hi all,
    I travelled the usual run from Shanghai to Beijing in August 2011.

    I noticed that two prong Australian plugs, as used for shavers, power chargers and other small appliances, could not be plugged into a Chinese power socket, but, a three-pronged plug, one with the earth pin would connect.

    I can only assume that the power sockets had an earth pin activated shutter, so all plugs had to have an earth pin.

    Easy fix. I had a Universal UK EU AU US to AU AC POWER PLUG Converter Travel Adapter. I keep 1 or 2 of these on hand always when travelling.

  16. Siva Pillai says:

    Hi
    Can I get Internet access (WIFI) Bin China hotel
    Can I buy a Dongle Key (USB) so that I can have access wifi

    Where can I get UK to China convertor plug
    Pl help

  17. Beijing Tour says:

    HI Siva Pillai,

    As for the converter plug, you may go to the carrefour stores in Beijing. See the links below:

    http://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/beijing-travel/beijing-shopping/carrefour-beijing-beijingt-carrefour-locations

    Bin China Hotel? What’s this? Sorry, we cannot quite understand your situation. Any further request, please contact us.

  18. diana kaiser says:

    It appears to me that I can use my US plugs in china without an adaptor, for my cell phone charger, electric toothbrush, lap top charger, hair dryer. All of which use 110/220.
    Am I correct?
    I’ll be in Beijing, Shanghai.

  19. Daniel says:

    Hi diana kaiser,

    Yes, you are right. Now most of the plugs for the devices like cell phones, electric toothbrush, lap tops, hair dryers and electric razors are made with
    international standards. You can use them directly with the sockets here in China.

  20. Cathy says:

    My daughter is travelling to China next week from the UK and we are a little confused as to what adapter she will need to be able to use her hairdryer. Can you help please? From our reading we are assuming her mobile should be OK?

  21. Daniel says:

    Hi Cathy,

    As far as I know, many washing rooms attached to hotel rooms in China have international standard two-prong plugs for hair dryers and electric razors using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ).

    If not, many hotels offer free use of hair dryers.

    Have a good time in China!

  22. Rauf says:

    Hi, may I get an adapter for European plugs to use my devices as cellphone and laptop in City Hotel Shanghai, does anyone know the answer?

  23. Ann says:

    Hi.
    I am now live in China. Before my trip to China, I purchase one adapter in American. I test it in Shenzhen, China and find it is good.

    It is very useful and the ads says that it can be used in 150 countries. Now I only test it in China and it works well. Good!

    I love China and products made in China. Good!

  24. Daniel D. D. says:

    Hi Daniel,
    First, thank you for this blog.
    From it it would appear that I can use my two prong (Canadian – North American) iPhone charger, electric toothbrush and my electric shaver in China without the need for an adaptor. It would release some anxiety if you could confirm this for me. Looking forward to 2 weeks in China (from Beijing to Shanghai). From another Daniel 😉

  25. Daniel says:

    Dear Daniel D. D.,

    Yes, you can use your electronic gadgets with two prong (Canadian – North American) in China. Most of the bathrooms in hotels here are equipped with two-prong sockets for electric shavers,etc.

    We have two kinds of sockets: two-prong and three-prong. Just look for the two-prolong. If you have a laptop with three-prong (Canadian), you cannot use the local three-prong socket. No worry, most hotels have adaptors. Just ask them to fix it.

    By the way, check out the tourist scams in Beijing:

    https://www.tour-beijing.com/blog/china-travel/tourist-traps-in-china/top-10-tourist-scams-beijing

    Have a nice time in China!

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