Electricity in China


Will your computer blow up in China?  Probably not, but electrical differences between China and USA/Europe can cause trouble for many foreign travelers.

When Traveling to China, you should keep three essential tips on the electricity in China.

  1. China Travel Tips - Chinese Electricity - Chinese Plugs
    Learn the difference between China's electrical current and that in your own country, so that you can protect your appliances and yourself as well.
  2. Chinese standard sockets are shown at right, and you should know the differences between those in China and in your country.
  3. It is a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your appliance. In particular, if you buy appliances or adapters in China, you should check out the tips from the manufacturer.

The Electrical Currents in China and Other Regions

Many devices state the currents they can accept in small type somewhere on the device; you may need a magnifying glass to read it, but if you find it, it should answer this question. In some cases, there is a switch on the device you can flip.  You can often contact the manufacturer for information about what a device will accept, and the list below shows you some of the electrical currents you may encounter:

  1. Mainland China's electrical current is 220 V, 50 HZ
  2. Hong Kong is 200 V, 50 HZ
  3. Most European countries are 220 V/50 HZ
  4. The United States is 120 V/60 HZ

If you travel to China and need to bring an older electric devices for use during your stay, a transformer, which can be bought in China for CNY 100 - 200, is necessary. Most of the hotels in China have both 110 V and 220 V electrical outlets in the bathrooms, though in guest rooms usually only 220 V sockets are available.  Plugging a 110 V device into a 220 V socket without a transformer will usually ruin the device.

The Electrical Sockets in China and Other Regions

China Travel Guide - Chinese Electricity - Chinese Socket
Even if your device can handle the Chinese current, you still need to get it there. So, adapters and converters are an important part of China travel tips on the electricity in China. Electrical sockets come in the shapes shown at left and on the power cord shown below (there are three in all).  The two-pronged plug that found on most American cell phone and computer chargers is compatible with the narrower, two-holed socket you can see on the power cord.

If you can find that socket for your charger, you are usually in business. If only one of the other sockets is available, you may need a plug adaptor to keep your devices running. Adapters and converters are available at hotels, but may be limited in number. If you must use an adapter in {use 'an emergency' rather than 'urgency'} urgency, you'll be happy to have brought along your own adapter for the device you need to use. But most electronics stores in China can also sell you these adapters. If you want to borrow an adapter in your hotel, call Housekeeping when you check-in. By the way, in most hotels hair dryers are available for your use.

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