The first time when you are at a Starbucks store in China, you maybe wonder how to connect to its free WiFi network.
And when asking an employee, he or she will probably tell you that you can connect to CMCC-Starbucks, by opening your browser, entering your mobile phone number, and logging in with the password you received from China Mobile, as what you can see from the following image:
Although CMCC-Starbucks is FREE, it also has some shortcomings, such as that it will track your online activities, it doesn't work sometimes, and what is more, it may be very slow, especially when the store is full of people.
Since I am probably already tracked by NSA and even some other spies which I haven't known yet, and I am almost always use a Proxy, SSH or VPN service when online, I do not care so much that being tracked by China Mobile.
But its speed really bothers me, with 2 Mbps shared by a room of people, there was no way for you to watch YouTube videos online, instead I prefer to use a paid WiFi network, such as ChinaUnicom, ChinaNet, CMCC or CMCC-Auto, which is usually faster than CMCC-Starbucks.
As for me, I am using ChinaUnicom now, the fastest WiFi network I can connect to at the Starbucks store here in Guangzhou, China. And to connect to it , you just need a mobile phone account with the ChinaUnicom WLAN service. Instead to use a real ChinaUnicom SIM card, you can buy a virtual one online (such as on Taobao.com), which will be more economic, and you don't need to show your own phone number.
By the way, if you have a WiFi account of AT&T, Boingo, T-Mobile or some other mobile service provider, you can also connect to it via ChinaUnicom, but which I bet will be slower and more expensive.
The usage of ChinaNet, CMCC or CMCC-Auto is similar to ChinaUnicom, and what you need is also just to buy a virtual WiFi account.
In fact, besides CMCC-Starbucks, some Chinese Starbucks stores may also offer ChinaUnicom-Starbucks, which is also a free WiFi network, but I have never connected to it successfully when CMCC-Starbucks is work.