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China – Landlines and Mobile Phones

China is a country with a rapidly developing telecommunications industry. With a population of over 1.4 billion people, the country has a large demand for both landline and mobile services. This article provides information on telephone service in China, including international and area codes, major telephone providers, procedures for arranging telephone connections, and payment options for telephone bills.

International Code and Area Codes

The international code for China is +86. If you are calling China from outside the country, you must dial this code before dialing the local number.

For local calls within China, there are several area codes for popular expat destinations. The area code for Beijing is 10, while the area code for Shanghai is 21.

Major Telephone Providers in China

There are several major telephone providers in China, both for landline and mobile services. These include:

Landline Providers

  • China Telecom: China Telecom is the largest landline provider in China and offers fixed-line telephony, broadband internet, and television services. The company has a large network coverage and offers competitive pricing for its services. China Telecom can be contacted at 10000 for landline services.

  • China Unicom: China Unicom is another major landline provider in China and offers fixed-line telephony, broadband internet, and television services. The company has a reputation for providing reliable services and has a large customer base across the country. China Unicom can be contacted at 10010 for landline services.

Mobile Providers


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  • China Mobile: China Mobile is the largest mobile provider in China and offers both prepaid and postpaid mobile services, as well as broadband internet. The company has a reputation for providing reliable services and has a large network coverage across the country. China Mobile can be contacted at 10086 for mobile services.

  • China Unicom: In addition to its landline services, China Unicom also offers mobile services in China. The company offers both prepaid and postpaid mobile services, as well as broadband internet. China Unicom is known for its reliable network coverage and good customer service. China Unicom can be contacted at 10010 for mobile services.

Procedure for Arranging Telephone Connection

To arrange a telephone connection in China, you must first choose a telecommunications provider and contact them to set up an account. The provider will ask for your personal information, including your name, address, and identification documents. You may also be asked to provide a deposit, which will be refunded when you close your account.

Once your account has been set up, the provider will send a technician to your home or business to install the necessary equipment. This may include a landline phone, modem, or router, depending on the services you have subscribed to. The technician will also test the equipment to ensure that it is working properly.

The time it takes to set up a telephone connection in China can vary depending on the provider and the type of service you have subscribed to. In some cases, you may be able to get a same-day installation, while in other cases, it may take several days.

Payment Options for Telephone Bills

There are several payment options for telephone bills in China. These include:

  • Online Payments: Many providers offer online payment options, where customers can pay their bills using a credit or debit card. This is a convenient option that allows customers to pay their bills from anywhere with an internet connection. Customers can log in to their account on the provider’s website to make a payment.

  • In-Person Payments: Customers can also make payments in person at the provider’s office or at a designated payment center. Payments can be made using cash, check, or credit/debit card.

  • Automatic Payment: Some providers offer the option of setting up automatic payments, where the bill amount is automatically deducted from the customer’s bank account each month. This is a convenient option that ensures that customers never miss a payment and avoid late fees.

    It is important to note that failure to pay your telephone bill on time may result in a disruption of service. Customers who are having trouble paying their bills should contact their provider to discuss payment options and avoid service disruptions.

    Challenges and Regulations

    It is worth noting that there are some challenges and regulations when it comes to telephone service in China. The government regulates the telecommunications industry, and there are restrictions on internet access and content. Some foreign websites and applications may not be accessible in China due to government censorship.

    In addition, foreign nationals may face additional hurdles when trying to set up a telephone connection in China. They may be required to provide additional documentation and may face language barriers when dealing with service providers.

    Telephone service in China is readily available to both residents and expatriates, with a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure and several major providers offering landline and mobile services. Customers can choose from a range of packages to suit their needs, and the process of arranging a telephone connection is relatively straightforward. Payment options for telephone bills are also varied, with online payments, in-person payments, and automatic payment options available. However, there are some challenges and regulations to consider, particularly for foreign nationals. Overall, China offers a modern telecommunications infrastructure that is reliable and convenient for users.


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