Circles.Life Taiwan [shutting down in July 2024]

I have been a super happy customer of Circles.Life in Singapore for years and I have just found out that the firm expanded to Taiwan recently. I visited the website and it seems as user-friendly and straightforward as Singapore’s. Anyone had experiences with it? How’s the speed compared to the others? Any difficulties for foreigners subscribing? I was like OMG finally when I read 身份證或居留證 :rofl:

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You said you visited the website but did not give a link. No idea but here is what appears to be a link.

It’s an MVNO telco. With data caps… The prices they’re offering, might as well just go with the established players and get the unlimited plans.

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I was asking whether anyone had experience with it, which is why I did not think of providing a link. I have just added it. Thanks.

It’s all unlimited 吃到飽, actually. Circles is a MVNO in Singapore too, but speed there is as fast as M1 which is the provider. It’s very popular among foreigners because of the all-online subscription and account management with no bureaucracy, deposits or guarantor crap: just a monthly charge on your debit/credit card. Curious to see whether it kept the same ease of use in Taiwan as well. I will definitely try it myself next month and update here, but maybe someone already has some feedback to share.

I signed up to because the month-to-month contract seemed appealing.
All functionality has to be done from their mobile app, which is only in Chinese and region-locked to Taiwan. My app store region is not Taiwan, so I can’t download the app. I can’t even read the bills, because I would need the app to do so.

I’d say that it’s all quite inconvenient.

Sorry to hear that, man. They should definitely have at least created a bi(multi)lingual app, considering that the original one (Singapore) is already in English.

On a side note: was the activation process smooth? Did you encounter any hiccup apart from the language barrier? Did they accept your ARC as a valid ID without any noise?

Activation was a little clunky because I couldn’t download the app. I had to speak to customer support twice, but thankfully their customer support is pretty good.

They accepted my ARC without any fuss.

The region-locked app is just strange. What if you travel between Singapore and Taiwan often? I imagine that’s fairly common. It would make sense to use the same telco in both countries, but this wouldn’t be possible even with a dual-sim phone due to the region locks.

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Reviving my own thread after becoming a Circles.Life (無框電信) customer recently. I’m overall satisfied :smile:

Registration and document upload all done online, so no more nonsensical discussions at the shop. The Gold Card was accepted without any fuss within a few hours. I have yet to open a Taiwanese bank account, so I linked my TransferWise card to the new Circles.Life account and it was accepted as well without any problems. The SIM card was delivered within three calendar (not “working”: I got it on a Saturday in fact) days at the 7-11 just downstairs, but there is the option to have it sent to a private address as well. I plugged the SIM card onto my phone, downloaded the app, received the verification SMS and that’s about it. I went on a trip to mountain areas over the weekend and didn’t encounter any signal issues. Circles.Life is renting from Chunghwa.

Total damage: 200 NTD for the activation, then 550 NTD a month (450 + 100 for unlimited data) directly charged to the foreign card that I used upon registration.

Possible hiccups:

  1. Like @Cy said, you will need to change your Google Play / Apple Store region to Taiwan in order to be able to download the app. The SIM card cannot be activated without this passage.
  2. The website, registration form, e-mails and chat support (very efficient) are exclusively in Mandarin. The app is the typical Taiwanese mix of English in the first page (probably because it detected English as my phone language) and Mandarin everywhere else :upside_down_face:
  3. The registration process requires the usual two documents. In my case, I used my local driving licence as second proof of identification. If you don’t have Driving Licence or NHI card, it doesn’t seem possible.
  4. Weird thing is that they require you to provide a Taiwanese mobile phone to act as a contact number until you activate your SIM card, which is quite stupid for people like me who have just arrived in Taiwan and ended up troubling a friend for this.

i use, good budget option and i’ve had no troubles in terms of interruptions or speed. quite pleased with it actually.

i signed up using my partner’s taiwanese card, and used a referral code (pick any at random there are heaps of them on PTT, or if you’d like you can use my referral code and I get money :slight_smile:), so it saves 100NTD a month for 6 months i believe.

so yeah like @boaz25 said, it was 200NTD to activate, but i only pay 450NTD a month for unlimited cause the referral system.

Just completed my number transfer to Circles.Life after my one year with Chunghwa ($488 “student” (= foreigner) promotion for unlimited data for one year).

One issue was that Circles.Life didn’t accept a Chunghwa number for their current promotion ($466 for unlimited data per month - from what I understand, I will get some money back depending on how much data I use), so I had to port the number to a different provider first (I chose FET and had to pay $300 for a prepaid SIM for a couple of days).

The process was quite smooth otherwise - they accepted ARC + passport without any issues. However, I had to fill out another form again because the first transfer attempt failed and they had to do it the “paper way”. They actually sent me an e-mail in English about that and were able to process my answer in English. Also, the app is partially in English which also helps.

I applied on Friday and on Tuesday morning the new card was activated and ready to use with the new number.

PM me if someone needs a referral code.

Welcome to the family, man :star_struck: Glad to hear that the process went smoothly for you too.

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I am intrigued by Circles.Life, and attracted by its offers (although no 5G). Because my app store country is not Taiwan, I am unable to download the app. @Cy’s posts indicate that it’s still possible to sign up even without the app, but how inconvenient would it be for day-to-day operations (such as checking usage, paying bills, getting customer support, etc.) if I cannot install the app?

That issue also applies to a number of other apps, too, unfortunately. I’ve created a second account to use the Taiwanese AppStore.

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Yep, I switched country on another account, and used it to download the app. Hopefully, there will be no glitches switching between accounts. Circles.Life also did not accept my US bank issued credit card. Luckily I have a credit card issued by a Taiwanese bank, which worked.

I have it on my phone but I have literally NEVER opened it. 99% of my communications are done through apps (Line, Telegram, Whatsapp, etc.) so the very few local calls that I make are always within the monthly allowance. You will only need the app if you reach the limit and need to buy more minutes (it’s called BOOST) or minutes/SMS to call overseas.

I wrote it in another thread. Keep in mind that Circles.Life does not have international roaming agreements for the time being. If you go overseas your SIM will not connect to anything.

Just to add on to this. I used my Wise debit card when I first subscribed to Circles.Life and it worked, so I guess that it depends on which bank/card we use rather than on them not being Taiwanese. If others had their foreign card accepted or rejected, please share it so that we can try to understand the logic, if there is one :smile:

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I have the app and use the US app store still. I must have downloaded it from apkmirror or something. But yeah there’s no real use in using the app.

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Can you please help detail the process of porting from Chunghwa to FET? I’m going to be in the same boat. Questions:
-Where to buy $300 FET prepaid SIM?
-How to port?
-When did you port? After or before contract ends with Chunghwa?
-Does porting cancel your contract with Chunghwa? Or did you have to cancel manually?
-Did you get your deposit back? $2900NTD?

First, I went to CHT and told them that I want to port out my number. Then, I went to a FET store and told them that I want to take my number.

I think I ported some days before or after the contract ended. Not sure anymore.

Yes, the contract ended when the number was ported out.

Yes, but I had to wait 2 months after the contract ended to get it back. That seems to be their policy…


I was able to port a Chunghwa pre-paid number directly to Circles.Life and got the $466 rate. Chunghwa customers are not eligible for the number porting reimbursement ($112 paid to Chunghwa) that Circles.Life offers other customers though. Don’t know if it’s different for post-paid customers.


Yeah, I wanted to do that too, but there seems to be a monthly (or quarterly?) limit on how many numbers they’re allowed to port directly from CHT (they’re using the CHT network after all, so probably CHT has some protection clauses in their contract with Circles so they don’t lose too many customers at the same time). Unfortunately, at the time I wanted to port my number, I had to wait at least another month - so I had to go to FET first. But of course, if you can take the number directly from CHT to Circles, that’s definitely much easier.