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Power Adapters and Sockets in China – (Mainland/Hong Kong/Macau & Taiwan)

If you are an international traveller this is one big pain in the butt, all the different types of sockets used around the world, and then the different voltages. Aggghhh! Fortunately, it’s not too difficult for China, so let’s take a deeper look.

There are five types of sockets in use: one in Hong Kong & Macau, two in Taiwan, and another two in mainland China.

Hong Kong and Macau Power Sockets and Plug

In HK and Macau, they use the big ugly UK-style plug (Type G – common in the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland, Gibraltar, and Malta). If you land in HK without an adapter they can be a tad expensive from stalls in tourist areas, I found simple ones at Mong Kok Computer Market for 15HKD that worked a charm (same as what is pictured above).

Mainland China Power Sockets and Plugs

In China most wall sockets look like this, having a three-pin plug on the bottom (Type: I as found in Australia and New Zealand) while at the top is a two-vertical pin socket (Type A – common to USA, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan, and also Vietnam). If you buy cheap appliances in China they will mostly come with this two-pin US-style Type A plug. That socket at the top also accepts two round pins (Type C – which is common to Europe, South America, and most of Asia).

It’s not that common to need an adapter, although there were some places in my travels in rural areas where only the two-pin US/EU style socket (Type A) could be found, meaning those from Australia with a three-pin socket may need to carry a US>AU adapter. Another rare circumstance was a hotel that only offered AU three-pin sockets (Type I) meaning that anyone from the EU or US would need a US/EU > AU adapter.

Taiwan Power Sockets and Plugs

Taiwan uses the same standards as US and Canada. Type A (Common to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan, and Vietnam) is on the left and Type B is on the right (Common to the USA, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, and Philippines)

Voltages

China is 220V, Hong Kong is 220V and Taiwan is 110V. Nowadays most laptops and chargers should be quite fine with the different voltages but you may want to check anyway. Just note the figures on your charger or appliance. The one we see below has an operating range of 100 to 240 volts which is fine for China, Hong Kong/Macau, and Taiwan.

What’s Next?

Check out more of my tips for exploring China or get some inspiration for your travel plans like Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, or Shanghai.

** This post was originally published on January 27, 2017 and updated for March 2024