The world’s largest mobile network is coming to the UK on the EE network, with a new MNVO offering SIM Only deals.
CMLink launched this week, primarily aimed at Chinese tourists, businesspeople, students and frequent visitors.
Why is this notable? China Mobile is owned by the Chinese government. It has over 880 million subscribers worldwide and as a company is worth more than BT, O2’s owners Telefonica, and Vodafone combined.
China Mobile says the growing trend of business and travel between China and the UK has fuelled demand for the CMLink network.
What you get
CMLink offers one-month data contracts starting at £5 a month for 500MB of data, 150 minutes of inclusive calls, and unlimited texts.
The next step up is a £10 a month contract for 3GB of data and 500 minutes, while the top-level deal costs £18 a month for 9GB of data and 2,000 minutes.
Each option comes with a data boost feature that rewards loyalty by giving you 5% more data every month up to a maximum 200%.
The total possible data allowance monthly is 1.5GB for £5 contracts, 9GB for £10 deals and 27GB for the £18 a month setup.
There is a significant Chinese community living and working in the UK with over 433,000 British-Chinese living in the UK today.
Furthermore, over 82,000 Chinese nationals were studying in the UK on student visas, up 17 percent year-on-year, while visits to the UK from China reached 115,000 in the first half of 2017, 47 percent higher than last year.- Dr Li Feng: Chairman, China Mobile
If you choose pay as you go, you get free phone calls and texts to other CMLink phones, while UK calls cost 8p a minute and data costs 5p/MB.
Free calls to other CMLink numbers make up the SIM’s biggest saving, given how many millions of people use the network back at home in China.
The SIM card is free and can also be ordered online at the CMLink website.
“Our partnership will allow Chinese people and communities to stay connected, whether they are UK residents, students, here on business or visiting as tourists,” Dr Li Feng added.
China Mobile International, CMLink’s parent group, was set up in December 2010.
It is headquartered in Hong Kong and has 19 overseas offices aimed at expanding the business globally.