How to make cheap calls while roaming in Hong Kong with China Mobile

Many people don’t know this – as a matter of fact I didn’t until last week – that China Mobile has a great plan to allow you to make roaming calls in Hong Kong for much cheaper than their standard rates.  Please note that as far as I know this only applies to China Mobile prepaid SIM cards.

When you cross the border into Hong Kong you’ll find that regardless of which carrier you roam onto, China Mobile will send you the following text message:


Translation: Dear customer, you are roaming in Hong Kong!  Making local calls costs 1.19 yuan / min; dial +86 plus the telephone number to call the Mainland for 3.99 yuan / min; receive calls for 2.19 yuan / min; China Mobile users send SMS text messages for 1.19 yuan each.

However, if BEFORE you leave for Hong Kong, you send China Mobile a text message to 10086 with BLHKRTC, you’ll be signing up for their Hong Kong daily roaming plan.  When you do this you’ll receive the following text message back:


Translation: Dear customer: Your application has been accepted, and your request will take effect within 2 hours. This service has a daily fee of 2.9 yuan / day in addition to any phone usage.  Calls to a Hong Kong telephone cost 0.39 yuan / minute, calls to the Mainland cost 0.69 yuan / minute, and sending text messages cost 0.19 yuan each. Hong Kong’s free service hotline is 22117888. If you arrive in Hong Kong and have no network, try to reboot the phone and enter the “network selection” menu, and ensure your network is selected as “CMHK” or “China Mobile HK”.  From: China Mobile Guangdong

NOTE: This is important – ensure your network is selected to China Mobile Hong Kong and not a different carrier or I’m not sure you’ll get the same rates.  Also, you must be in China when you send this text message or it won’t work.

Now, because the service costs 2.9 yuan per day, you’ll only want to keep the service active while you’re actually in Hong Kong.  When you want to cancel the service (which you can do from Mainland or Hong Kong such as you might want to do if leaving from the airport) simply send another text message to 10086 with the contents QXHKRTC.

You’ll receive back the following text message:


Translation: Dear User: Hello, You have successfully canceled the Hong Kong Day package.  You are welcome to activate it again (send BLHKRTC to 10086). From: China Mobile Guangdong

So there you have it – reasonable Hong Kong roaming charges on China Mobile!  Now if only we could have data too…

If anyone has any other interesting China Mobile access codes please share!

3 Comments for “How to make cheap calls while roaming in Hong Kong with China Mobile”

  1. Hello Marshall,
    I read your posting about roaming in Hongkong using China Mainland Mobile. I want your help. Can you tell me about making IDD calls from Hongkong while roaming using china mainland mobile which I purchased from Guangzhou. Right now I am paying only 0.99RMB for making IDD calls through IP calling(12593) from guangzhou. Can I reduce call prices using your suggested access code.
    I request you to reply asap as I will be leaving for hongkong tommorrow only.

    Thanks and regards

  2. This informations is really useful. I make a lot of calls to china every month and this maybe can help me reduce my phone bill. Thank you again.

  3. Thanks Guys, that’s awesome!

Comments are closed

The Contributor

Marshall has been living in China for the past 7 years, starting off in Tianjin before making his way to Shenzhen. Marshall is employed by Gloucester, Massachusetts based TradeStone Software as an Implementation Manager, in the retail PLM space. In his free time, Marshall enjoys staying up to date on the latest IT trends, spending time with his wife Hong Xia and sons Max and Spencer as well as helping out at the Cheers Bar and Jordons Bar in Shekou, which is owned and operated by family and friends.

    Connect with Marshall:
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