eSIM in Hong Kong vs Mainland China: What to Know

The electronic SIM card, or eSIM, is steadily growing in popularity globally and across Asia as more smartphone models adopt this technology. However, the eSIM landscape has some key differences for consumers in Hong Kong compared to mainland China. Keep reading this blog to get information on the same.

Hong Kong vs Mainland China: How eSIM Functionality Differs?

Want to know how eSIM functionality is different in Hong Kong and Mainland China? Refer to the points below to get a broad overview of the same:

  1. eSIM Support & Coverage: In Hong Kong, eSIM support is widespread, with eSIM service readily available from major operators like HKT, SmarTone, China Mobile HK, and more. Switching profiles is easy, so you can quickly activate different plans or data packages as needed. Roaming across Hong Kong networks is seamless with eSIM. In comparison, eSIM rollouts have been slower in mainland China, with China Telecom and China Unicom as the only providers currently.
  2. Dual eSIM Usage: Another major advantage of having an eSIM in Hong Kong is the ability to use dual eSIMs simultaneously from different operators. This makes having separate data plans for travel or different usage very convenient. However, in mainland China, only one eSIM can be active at a time, making switching more complex.
  3. Short-Term Data Plans: For travellers hopping between Hong Kong and the mainland, eSIM offers flexibility to get short-term data plans in both places. But for longer trips, dual physical SIM cards may work better, given mainland China’s eSIM limitations. It’s also worth noting censorship and surveillance concerns with mainland eSIM use.
  4. Compatibility: Regarding device compatibility, eSIM is now available on most newer iPhone models and many Android phones in Hong Kong. The eSIM-compatible device options are more restricted in mainland China presently.

How to Buy an eSIM Card in Hong Kong and China

Are you looking to purchase an eSIM in China? Buying an eSIM card in Hong Kong or mainland China is easy with Mobimatter. This digital eSIM provider offers fast activation of mobile data plans across both markets. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting connected with Mobimatter:

  1. Download the Mobimatter app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  2. Open the app and select “Hong Kong” or “China” under eSIM cards. Browse the different Hong Kong and China data plan options. Choose the option for the country you are visiting.
  3. Choose your preferred data package based on data amounts and validity duration. Plans are available from 1GB to unlimited data.
  4. Select your plan and proceed through checkout. Payment can be made easily through an international credit card.
  5. Activate it using a QR code to connect to the network and start using data. Your eSIM profile will be instantly activated. 


eSIM in Hong Kong provides more choice, flexibility, and seamless switching that’s ideal for frequent travellers and multiple data plan needs. Mainland China’s eSIM landscape has more limitations but is slowly opening up. Understanding the important aspects can help you decide the best eSIM while travelling to any of these countries.