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overview of types of plugs and sockets
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Most plugs and sockets shown here are made and intended for use in the People's Republic of China.
Two types of not earthed plugs are used: Europlugs (and look-alikes) and North American flat blade, non-polarized, plugs*.
Earthed plugs for domestic use in the PRC are similar to the 10A Australasian type.

In Hong Kong you may also find BS 1363 plugs and occasionally BS 546.

Taiwan uses North American flat blade types for both non-earthed and earthed plugs**.

*   Mainland China has a 220 Volt, 50 Hz network (applies also to North American type outlets !)
** Taiwan has a 110 Volt, 60 Hz network.


Schneider Electric, China, Australasian type socket with safety shutters
Schneider Electric, China, Australasian type socket, detail of shutters
Comparison of Wonpro 10A and 16A , 3-pin plugs
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Wonpro Australasian type 10A plug
Wonpro Australasian type 16A plug
Wonpro unearthed flat blade plug Simple Chinese flat blade plug

1 Australasian type socket rated at 10A - 250V. The shown 2016 socket model has a shutter that covers line and neutral contacts. The shutter mechanism is shown in detail in image no. 2. Manufacturer: Schneider Electric China.   {DH}
In contrast to Australian and New Zealand regulations, sockets are mounted upside down, which means that in China the uppermost slot is earth. Sometimes the Chinese orientation is referred to as the 'emu foot' because it resembles the track of an emu (an Australian flightless bird).
2 The image shows the back of the front panel of socket no. 1, after removing the socket body with pin contacts. The shutter (black) is controlled by the earth pin (top slot). Insertion of the earth pin, which is 3 mm longer than L and N pins, pushes the shutter downwards (red arrow) and makes L and N contact accessible. A spring (not visible) pushes the shutter upwards after removing the plug.
The mechanism is comparable to the shutter that has been developed by MK Electric in 1928. See panel 9 on Plug Diversity page.  
→ Note that the shutter cannot be opened by a not earthed (2-pin) plug, an adapter plug is required.
Comparison of Australasian type 10A, 16A and 20A plugs. The side view of a 10A and 16A plug shows the difference in length of the earth pin compared to L and N pins. Pin width and thickness in mm:  10A: 6.3 - 1.4;   16A: 8.0 - 1.75;   20A: 12.0 - 2.2
Plugs are also shown in image nos 5 (10A), 6 (16A) and 13 (20A).
4 Socket, rated at 10A - 250V, is suitable for the three commonly used types of plugs for domestic use in mainland China: (1) Europlugs and similar 2-pin plugs, (2) not earthed flat blade plugs (similar to NEMA 1-15P), and (3) earthed Australasian plugs. The three types of plugs are shown in image nos 5, 7, 8 and 9. Brand name: PTIC (made in China).
5 Wonpro Australasian type earthed plug, rated at 10A - 250V (type WSP-16). Chinese 10A plugs fit also in domestic 10A sockets used in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. In contrast to Australia and New Zealand, partially insulated L and N pins are not required according to Chinese GB 2099 standard.   {FSE}
6 Wonpro earthed plug, rated at 16A - 250V. 16A plugs are used among others for home
air conditioners. Plugs fit in Chinese 16A sockets only.
Pin width and spacing of angled L and N pins differ between Chinese 16A (CN) and Australasian 15A (AU) plugs; see image right. Pin sizes are:
• earth pin of CN 16A: width = 7.9 mm, thickness = 1.7 mm, length = 21.1 mm
• earth pin of AU 15A: width = 9.1 mm, thickness = 1.6 mm, length = 19.8 mm
• CN  L and N pins: width = 8.0 mm, thickness = 1.7 mm, length = 18.0 mm
• AU  A and N pins: width = 6.4 mm, thickness = 1.6 mm, length = 17.0 mm

Image no. 3 shows a comparison between Chinese 10A, 16 A and 20A plug pins.

Plugs 5, 6 and 7 have a CCCs safety mark (see also image n. 19)   {FSE}

Comparison of pin configuration of Chinese 16A and Australian 15A plugs
7 Wonpro, not earthed flat blade plug, rated at 10A - 250V. In accordance to Chinese GB 1002 standard, both blades are 6.3 mm wide. The given indication of Line and Neutral is in fact meaningless, because a plug with identical pins is not polarized.   {FSE}
8 Example of a simple flat blade plug. The plastic housing is quite robust. Wiring is inherently unsafe. Cord grip is missing.
The plug dates back to the 1990s.

Chinese Euro-style 2 pin plug Chinese Australasian type socket
Lid of Weipu Type 1609 socket
Chinese multi-standard socket
Wonpro multi-standard socket

9 Not earthed European type plug, with 4.0 mm round pins, rated at 5A - 250V. The unknown manufacturer uses a remarkable logo, showing a house and alternate current symbol. Plug was bought in China in 1998.
Socket with lid for Australasian type plugs. Indicated rating: 16A - 250V. Brand name: Weipu, Shanghai, China. Type 1608.
Note that in contrast to Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, the upright earth slot is at top position.

Multi-functional socket, rated at 10A - 250V. Weipu, type 1609.    {FSE}

The image between nos. 10 and 11 shows a part of the lid of socket no. 10. No. 10 has a comparable lid.
Both have a CE (European Conformity) mark. See page on certification marks for details, and both meet the IP44 criteria, which means that the sockets - with closed lid - are protected against (i) solid objects over 1 mm, and (ii) water sprayed from all directions. Moreover, type 1608 has also a CCCs mark (China Compulsory Certification, see image no. 19), and type 1609 has a hammer symbol, which suggests a certain resistance to mechanical impact (but a more precise IK rating is not given).
12 Wonnpro '1-gang universal receptacle set with safety shutters' (WF-6CN series), rated at 20A (!) - 250V. The specifications given by Wonpro state: 'Power is not supplied unless the two protection gates (shutters) are opened simultaneously'.   {FSE}


Heavy duty plugs

Chinese 20A, 250V plug made by SWE Chinese 15A, 380V plug made by SWE
Chinese 25A, 440V plug made by PTIC
Texts on plugs in Chinese characters (1)

13 Plug rated at 20A - 250V with angled power pins (L and N). It is a larger version of Australasian type plugs nos 5 (10A) and 6 (16A). Pin sizes of 10A, 18A and 20A plugs are compared in image no. 3.
The dimensions and position of pins is similar to NEMA 10-50P, a 50A split-phase 125/250V plug, US pins are 5-7 mm longer.
It seems unlikely that the Chinese plug as also meant for split-phase, given the indication of L and N and a rating without 125V.
Brand name: SWE, type SW1203.   {FSE}
14 Four pin, three-phase plug, rated at 15A - 380V. Brand name: SWE, type SW1154.
Pin positions resembles NEMA 28-20P, 3-phase Y, 20A, 208V (between any two phases) plug, but US pins are ca. 2 mm longer.
The meaning of the 'Great Wall' mark is explained below (see no. 19).
15 Four pin, three-phase plug, rated at 25A - 380V. Brand name PTIC, made in China (type T4-25).
Pin positions resembles NEMA 18-60P, 3-phase Y, 60A, 208V (between any two phases) plug, but US pins are 5-7 mm longer. 
16 Top image: name of manufacturer of plugs 13 and 14: Hangzhou Hongshi Electrical Co. Ltd. (SWE, based in Zhejiang, China)
Bottom image: the earth pin of plug no. 15 is marked by Chinese characters, an E, and earth symbol.


Logos of Chinese electrotechnical brands Texts on plugs in Chinese characters (2)
CCEE and CCC-s marks

17 Logos of four brands: Wonpro (Taiwan), nos. 5, 6, 7 and 12);  SWE (PRC), nos. 13 and 14;  PTIC (PRC, nos. 4 and 15);  HAWK (PRC), 15A-380V plug comparable to no.14.
18 Top: warning message on plug no. 15 says: "Never insert or remove plug when power in on".
Bottom: literal meaning is "Million-use conversion adapter", generic name for a multi-standard adapter.
19 In 1989 the China commission for Conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment issued the CCEE - also known as 'Great Wall mark'. See top image. Electrical equipment without CCEE mark are not permitted to be manufactured, imported, sold or used in China.
In 2002 the mark was replaced by a new safety mark, the CCC mark (bottom image), when several safety procedures were integrated into the China Compulsory Certificate.
Images sources: plug no. 14 (CCEE - 'Great Wall') and no. 15 (CCCs). Plug nos  5, 6 and 7  also have a CCCs mark.


Classic plug and socket

Old Chinese BS 546 type socket
Old Chinese BS 546 type plug

20, 21
A rare example of a 15A socket and plug bought in 1998 on a market in Xi-An, Peoples Republic of China. The configuration of the earth, neutral and line slots is identical to BS 546, but the slot diameter is too small (earth = 7.5 mm, N and L = 5.8 mm) to accommodate a British 15A plug. Pins are considerably shorter than standard 15A BS 546 plugs: 14.3 versus 19.3 mm for power pins and 15.9 versus 29.7 for earth pin.


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