Electricity in China

Do I need an adapter, a converter or both?
How to charge my iPad and cameras in China?

Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. This is twice the standard voltage than in North America and some Latin American countries which run on 110V 60Hz.

The standard wall plug in most households in China has a grounding pin and two power conducing pins in a V-shape:

electricity in china: wall socket

The British type socket is also found throughout China and is the prevalent type in Hong Kong.

So when bringing electrical appliances to China, or devices that require recharging, such as your photo and video cameras, rechargeable batteries, iPods, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and the like, you need to determine what kind of voltage your devices function under, and whether you will be needing a converter.

If your device's electrical plug has a different shape than the one above, you may need an electrical adapter.

Electricity in China: Electrical Converters

Electricity in China: Travel Converter
Most European countries use a voltage of 220V-230V, so if you are traveling from Europe, your appliances will function fine without a need for a converter.

North American appliances however, run on 110V and so, you will need a converter so that your 110V item does not fry (literally) when you plug it into the 220V source.

You can get a converter easily and inexpensively at any electronics shop like Best Buy or at the airport shops which normally carry them. You can also check the Amazon.com selection at the bottom of this page. But before you rush to get a converter also consider the following:

  • Most of the hotels in China have both 110V and 220V electrical outlets in the bathrooms for low wattage items, your 110V electric shaver for example can be plugged in without problems.The electrical outlets are clearly marked either 110V or 220V.

    Electricity in China: Dual Voltage

  • Some of your appliances might be "Dual-Voltage", that is, they will work fine at either 110V or 220V. In fact, the chargers that come with most modern video cameras, battery chargers, hair dryers, shavers, laptop computers, etc. are designed to sense the voltage automatically and adjust to the respective source.

    How to tell if you have a dual-voltage appliance? Look in the back of the charger or item where the power input/output is described.

    Look for the "Input" specification which should read something like this:

    Input: 100-240 V AC; 50/60 Hz

    That tells you the voltage the device will take. If it says 110V but there is no mention of 240V, your device is not dual voltage and you will need an electricity converter in China.

Electricity in China: Electric Adapters

Electricity in China: Dual Voltage
Now that you determined whether you have the right voltage to use your devices in China, in order to plug them into the Chinese electrical outlets (sockets) you will need an electric adapter, which is simply a connector that matches the shape of your plug with the Chinese electrical socket.

An adapter does not change the voltage of the device, the converter does that.

Some of the newer Western hotel chains do provide adapters in the rooms for the different styles of plugs in America and Europe, but do not expect that to be the case at smaller hotels and guest houses.

In any case, I would definitely bring a Travel Adapter Set with me just in case, they are inexpensive and that will keep from having everyone in the family fighting for the one outlet in the room to charge their devices!

When buying an Electric Adapter for China pay attention that you are getting the one with the V-shape that will fit the Chinese socket as pictured above. Most of the Universal sets will include it but double check, sometimes the sets are only US to Europe or US to UK adapters.

Some sets also include the converter, some only the adapters, so make sure you buy what you need.

Australians should have no problem with electricity in China since the Australian plug works well with the Chinese socket, it is the same shape only upside-down and Australian voltage is also the same.

If you are traveling to Hong Kong, you will see the British style socket in use:

Electricity in China: British socket

Adapters for this kind of outlet are also included in the Travel Adapter Sets.

Some of the adapters and sets also include a USB charger, which is what you will need for charging certain devices like iPods, iPhones, etc., you can also get the Apple Travel Kit, see below.

Electricity in China: Converters and Adapter Sets

Electrical Adapters

Converters and Adaptors for US Plugs to Chinese Sockets

Look for Adapters for UK plugs to Chinese Sockets

300 x 350: Sick Happens

You are here: > > > Eletricity in China

Thank you for visiting China Family Adventure!

Like our site? Follow Us!

China Family Adventure

Like this page? Please share it!

Like our site? Follow Us!

China Family Adventure

Like this page? Please share it!

Most Popular China Tours

by Viator

6-Day Small-Group China Tour from Shanghai to Beijing


11-Days Beauty of China

Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo

3-Day Great Wall Hiking Adventure

Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai

5-Day Yangshuo Bike Adventure

Biking, Rock Climbing, Rafting, Kayaking or Cooking

More China Tours and Activities

Locations of visitors to this page

Thank You for Your Support!

We receive a small commission when you book travel or buy products from our affiliates.

This helps us with our running costs of maintaining the site and helps us sponsor children in need through SaveTheChildren.org
Save the Children

Got a tip?

Got something to share? Let us know!

| Site Index | About Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us |

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Copyright © 2016 by M. Hoffmann www.china-family-adventure.com - All rights reserved.

All content (including text, photographs and video) is copyrighted. Powered by SiteBuildIt.

Return to top