Plugs, Sockets, Adapters and Electricity in China

Plugs and Sockets in China

Welcome, global explorers!

As you prepare for your Beijing tour or visiting other captivating destinations in China, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge about China’s electrical systems. Understanding the basics of China’s electricity, including its plug and socket system, is essential for a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or embarking on your first journey to this fascinating country, this guide aims to provide you with valuable insights into China’s unique electrical infrastructure. Your feedback is always appreciated to keep this guide up-to-date and helpful for all visitors.

1. Power Plugs and Sockets in China

Globally, there’s a diverse range of power plugs and sockets, with no universal standard. These include American, European, British, South African, and Chinese standards.

In China, unique power plug types, such as Type A and Type I, are commonly used. These may vary from the plug types in your home country.

Type A: a two flat parallel pin plug

Type A

This plug features two flat parallel pins. It’s ungrounded and operates on a 220V supply voltage. An important difference to note is the frequency in China, which is 50 Hz, unlike the 60 Hz commonly used in other countries.

Type I : a three flat pin plug

Type I

This plug type includes three flat pins in a triangular configuration, with two pins for live and neutral, and an earth pin for grounding. Like Type A, it uses a 220 volts supply at a 50 Hz frequency.

Before traveling, it’s advisable to prepare a plug adapter or converter that matches the socket standards of China, ensuring compatibility for your devices.

A standard socket on a wall in China

The upper two-round pin Socket and three flat pins Socket on the lower part

A standard socket on a wall in China has two flat pins ( which also matches a two-round-pin plug for the devices used in Europe or elsewhere) on the upper part and earthed three flat pins on the lower part.

2. Travel Adapters for China

When venturing to China, carrying a travel adapter is a must due to the country’s unique electrical standards.

It’s vital to remember that while travel adapters enable device compatibility with Chinese sockets, they don’t convert voltage. If your device operates on a different voltage than the local supply, a voltage converter or transformer is necessary to prevent damage.

Always check the voltage requirements of your devices to ensure they are compatible with Chinese electrical standards or have suitable voltage conversion capabilities when using travel adapters.

3. Use Voltage Converters or Transformers in China

If your electronic devices need a different voltage than the standard in China, a voltage converter or transformer is essential. These devices adjust the incoming voltage to a level suitable for your device.

For the best advice, consult with the device manufacturer or an electrical expert. Their expertise will guide you in choosing the right converter or transformer, ensuring the safety and proper functioning of your devices in China.

4. 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).

But basically you don’t have to worry about the voltage since most of your electric appliances use a wide range of voltage covering the two major standards for the voltage used in the world. So please check your electric devices and find if they are within the range of the voltage used in the country you are going to visit.

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

Just list some of the countries with different Voltage Frequencies:

Argentina 220 V 50 HzArmenia 220 V 50 HzAustralia 240 V 50 Hz
Austria 230 V 50 HzBelgium 230 V 50 HzBrazil 110/220 V 60 Hz
Brunei 240 V 50 HzBulgaria 230 V 50 HzCanada 120 V 60 Hz
China, People’s Rep. of 220 V 50 HzChina (Hong Kong) 220 V 50 HzCzech Republic 230 V 50 Hz
Denmark 230 V 50 HzEngland (UK) 230 V 50 HzFinland 230 V 50 Hz
France 230 V 50 HzFrench Guiana 220 V 50 HzGermany 230 V 50 Hz
Great Britain (UK) 230 V 50 HzGreece 220 V 50 HzHolland (Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz
Hong Kong (China) 220 V 50 HzHungary 230 V 50 HzIceland 220 V 50 Hz
India 230 V 50 HzIndonesia 127/230 V 50 HzIreland (Eire) 230 50 Hz
Israel 220 V 50 HzItaly 230 V 50 HzJapan 100 V 50/60 Hz
Korea, South 220 V 60 HzLuxembourg 220 V 50 HzMacau 220 V 50 Hz
Malaysia 240 V 50 HzMexico 127 V 60 HzNetherlands Antilles 127/220 V 50 Hz
New Zealand 230 V 50 HzNorthern Ireland 230 V 50 HzNorway 230 V 50 Hz
Philippines 220 V 60 HzPoland 230 V 50 HzPortugal 230 V 50 Hz
Romania 230 V 50 HzRussia 220 V 50 HzSaudi Arabia 127/220 V 60 Hz
South Africa 220/230 V 50 HzSpain 230 V 50 HzSwaziland 230 V 50 Hz
Sweden 230 V 50 HzSwitzerland 230 V 50 HzChina Taiwan 110 V 60 Hz
Thailand 220 V 50 HzTurkey 230 V 50 HzUnited Arab Emirates 220 V 50 Hz
UK (United Kingdom) 230 V 50 HzUS (United States) 120 V 60 HzVenezuela 120 V 60 Hz
Vietnam 127/220 V 50 Hz

5. The Photos of Plugs and Sockets in Use in China

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

A Chinese standard portable socket

Plugs and Sockets in use

Sockets and plugs in use

Sockets and plugs in use

6. Kindly Reminder

Nowadays, many portable devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes, and shavers comply with international voltage standards (110/220 volts) and have two flat or round prong charger plugs. In China, these devices can usually be used without an adapter.

Before departing for China, ensure your devices are compatible with 110/220 volts and have two-prong plugs.

Note that laptop chargers often have three-prong plugs, which might not fit into Chinese sockets. It’s advisable to purchase a portable plug adapter either before your trip or in China. Also, verify the voltage compatibility of your laptop. If it’s not suitable for 220 V, a converter is necessary.


As your journey to China approaches, equipping yourself with the right knowledge about the country’s electrical system is crucial.

This guide aims to provide you with essential information on plugs, sockets, adaptors, and voltage considerations in China. By preparing accordingly, you can ensure your electronic devices function seamlessly, allowing you to focus on the rich experiences and unforgettable memories awaiting you in this vibrant country. Safe travels and enjoy your journey to the fullest!

Further Readings

Beijing Tour
Top China Tours
Top 10 Places in China
10 Fascinating facts about China
Chinese Phrases for Travellers
Plugs and sockets in China
What to Bring for China Trip
How to recognize Chinese currency
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
How to get a Chinese Visa

Any questions, just drop a line.

49 thoughts on “Plugs, Sockets, Adapters and Electricity in China

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

  4. Hello Doreen Keston,

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

  5. Hi again Daniel,

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

  6. 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. Hello Chi,

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

  20. 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!

  21. 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 😉

  22. 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:

    Have a nice time in China!

  23. Hello, I am from Germany – Europe, we use a type C power plug (two-pronged). Does this also work in China? In the pictures I see a different kind of two-pronged plug that we have but there are round holes on the first picture though (standard outlet). This website says China also uses type-C plugs, is this true:

    Thank you for your answer!

  24. Dear Ashley,

    Thanks for your inquiry! But as far as I know, we don’t use round holes for our two-pronged plug here in China. Have a nice time in China!

  25. I will be travelling in Yunnan province. Are outlets the same in that region as the ones you describe?

  26. Dear Dorlisa,

    Basically, the outlets in Yunnan province as you mention are the same as other regions in China. Have a nice time!

  27. hi i am travelling from south africa to china need to know what plugs are used there.

  28. Dear manna biechook,

    In China, there are two kinds of plugs – A Chinese three flat prong Plug and A Chinese two flat prong plug.

    For more information, please check out the article. Have a good time in China.

  29. Hi,
    I’m travelling from NZ to China. Is the NZ three pin plug ok to use in China.

  30. Dear Neil,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    Basically, you can use your NZ three pin plug in China. Have a good time in China!

  31. I’m traveling to China next month, and I am a bit confused.
    I live in Israel, where we use standard EU round plugs. I wanted to know if my phone charger, which has 2 round EU pins will fit into a Chinese socket, or do I need to buy an adapter?
    Thanks ahead of time.

  32. Dear Roee Cohen,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    In your case, you need to buy an adapter. Your round EU pins won’t fit into a Chinese socket which has flat pins.

  33. Many people asked if their European 2-pin fit and the real answer is sometimes they do fit. You can see that some of the pictures of Chinese sockets only have two flat holes while some are both flat and round; those with round sockets often fit European two round pins (though there will be no ground for your laptop).

    I would still recommend bringing a converter to be on the safe side even though it’s rarely needed as there are usually many different sockets in every room and especially hotels that cater to international guests have the good outlets.

  34. I bought hair dryer made in China but is 120 and where we live 110 I tried. To send them back but they had gone out of business ! 😩do u have outlet that converts 120 to 110 as now I have two hair dryers that I can’t use. Thanks so much ! 😀. I never got a answer 😀

  35. Dear Billie Dewees,

    Thanks for your inquiry! Just buy an adapter at a travel shop adjusting from 120 to 110. Have a good time!

  36. Dear Terry Cridland,

    As far as I know, you can use your two prong Australian adapter to charge Samsung phone in China. Have a nice trip to China!

  37. We are travelling on a tour of Eastern Mainland China and have two tablets and an Android mobile phone that we want to use while there. We live in Canada with 110V 60 Hz. Our USB cords plug into our devices with a two flat prong style plug on the other end. Am I correct to assume we WILL need a converter, but not a separate plug style? Thank you!

  38. Dear Liana Yates,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    As far as I know, you don’t need a converter since your two tablets and an Android mobile phone are doable in China. Vice versa, the tablets and an Android mobile phone bought in China can also be used in Canada.

    Have a nice trip to Eastern Mainland China!

  39. Please help.

    I am going to china in May and June 2020, how and where can i have data or internet access on my phone to search and contact friends and so on? please.

    Can i buy a sim card prepaid for data only from a phone shop or at Airport in Guangzhou as i will land in GZ and continue to Changsha? i have passport to show the shop.

    looking forward to hear from you.

  40. I had to look into something. I actually collect foreign adapters for a hobby. I think somebody done edited a lie onto the Wikipedia page mains electricity by country. It indicated that the type of plug, type A, as used in America, was wired to 110. I’ve long known about the China A,C,I combo sockets to be entirely 220. I just wanna get an answer to this before I go and make the correction/report. Last thing we need is an unsuspecting traveller frying a device or worse fire/death. And as far as the hair dryer asked about a long time ago, 110 and 120 is such a minor difference that both would be in the acceptable range for the device. I’ve never heard of a voltage adapter to convert between 110 and 120. I think the hair dryer had a manufacturing defect.

  41. Hi I bought a Surround sound Speakers from China can I use it in Australia or do I need a special plug for it

  42. Hi Neville,

    Thanks for your feedback! But sorry, we are not quite sure about the kind of the plug used for your speakers bought in China. Basically it should be internationally standardized. Good luck for you!

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