Buying A Mobile Phone In China

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ask100 | 19:33 Tue 16th Jan 2018 | Technology
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Has anyone had the experience of buying a mobile from a Chinese supplier?
If so I would like to know about customs charges etc, if any, and any other problems before I take the plunge. Thanks.


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Avoid it like the plague. What are you going to do if it becomes faulty ?

You wouldn't buy a washing machine direct from China, so why a phone ?

Just go to a selection of mobile phone shops and see what they can offer you.
I bought my smartphone direct from the Chinese manufacturer after a lot of research

I was very surprised when it arrived and there was no duty to pay, the phone was sent from Poland. Mine is a OnePlus 3T and I have been very impressed with it from day 1.
I've never bought a phone there, but visit frequently. The names of phones that come up most often are Xiaomi and Huawei.

In particular Xiaomi has excellent feedback from my friends who live there as being great quality at an excellent price. I was planning to get a Xiaomi next time I upgrade.

Like £100 for a similar specification to phones that typically cost £300-£400 over here.

Mikey is right, though. There may well be no come-back if you have a problem. I don't know what your rights would be, but probably in practice you'll have none, no matter what the law might say.

Nevertheless, if the customer feedback is both good and numerous, , I'd probably be prepared to risk it. The charger might be an issue, but I'm sure you can deal with that.

let us know how you get on!
Question Author
Your comment is understood. However some 3 years or so ago a friend gave me a Mi phone he had been given in Hong Kong. He couldn't be bothered to learn how to use it as although it was Android there is a problem of Chinese script coming up just when you don't want it.
I've used it as a pad with no Sim card inserted. The 5.5" screen is brilliant and the battery lasts forever. It downloads all of my emails and the internet is very fast. The screen is way better than my iPhone 6. Then a couple of days ago I found that it will no longer charge up. I have been advised that it may cost more to fix than it would cost to buy a cheap Chinese phone. That's why I'm asking. I will probably finish up getting one locally as you suggested, but am curious.
Question Author
Sorry i said Pad - I meant Tablet.
There's no Import Tax on mobile phones.

To calculate the other charges you'll pay, add together the cost of the phone, the carriage and the insurance (if relevant). Multiply by 0.2 (to calculate the VAT, which is charged on all of the foregoing). Then add on £8 for the handling fee charged by Parcelforce Worldwide (who carry out routine customs examinations on behalf of HMRC).
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Thanks . . . .

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