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Telephone numbers in China

Telephone numbers in People's Republic of China
Map of the People's Republic of China in dark green with the disputed territories in light green
Location
CountryPeople's Republic of China
ContinentAsia
RegulatorMinistry of Industry and Information Technology
TypeOpen
Access codes
Country code+86
International access00
Long-distance0
Map of the area codes

Telephone numbers in the People's Republic of China are administered according to the Telecommunications Network Numbering Plan of China. The structure of telephone numbers for landlines and mobile service is different. Landline telephone numbers have area codes, whereas mobile numbers do not. In major cities, landline numbers consist of a two-digit area code followed by an eight-digit local number. In other places, landline numbers consist of a three-digit area code followed by a seven- or eight-digit local number. Mobile phone numbers consist of eleven digits.

Landline calls within the same area do not require the area code. Calls to other areas require dialing the trunk prefix 0 and the area code.

Calling a mobile phone from a landline requires the addition of the "0" in front of the mobile phone number if they are not in the same area. Mobile to landline calls requires the "0" and the area code if the landline is not within the same place. Mobile to mobile calls does not require the "0" outside mainland China.

The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Taiwan are not part of this numbering plan and use the calling codes 852, 853, and 886 respectively.

Mobile phones

In mainland China, mobile phone numbers have eleven digits in the format 1xx-XXXX-XXXX (except for 140–144, which are 13-digit IoT numbers), in which the first three digits (13x to 19x) designate the mobile phone service provider.

Before GSM, mobile phones had 6-digit (later upgraded to 7-digit) numbers starting with nine. They had the same numbering format as fixed-line telephones. Those numbers were eventually translated into 1390xx9xxx, where xx were local identifiers.

The oldest China Mobile GSM numbers were ten digits long and started with 139 in 1994, the second oldest 138 in 1997, and 137, 136, 135 in 1999. The oldest China Unicom numbers started with 130 in 1995, the second oldest at 131 in 1998. Keeping the same number over time is somewhat associated with the stability and reliability of the owner. The 5th to the seventh digit sometimes relates to age and location.

China's mobile telephone numbers were changed from ten digits to eleven digits, with 0 added after 13x, and thus the HLR code became four-digit long to expand the capacity of the seriously fully crowded numbering plan.

In 2006, 15x numbers were introduced. In late 2008, 18x and 14x (for data plans or IoT) were introduced. In late 2013, 17x were introduced. In 2017, 16x and 19x were introduced.

In December 2016, each cell phone number was required to be consigned to a real name in mainland China.[citation needed]

In November 2010, MIIT has started the trial mobile number portability service in Tianjin and Hainan, in 2012 the trial has extended to Jiangxi, Hubei and Yunan provinces. On 10 November 2019, all provinces started accepting MNP requests for all mobile carriers, except for technical difficulties, the MVNO phones, satellite phones and IoT phones.

As of 2016, all carriers are releasing USIM cards.

Mobile service carriers can be identified by the first three or four digits as follows:

Prefix Carrier Network
2G 3G 4G 5G
10641 (13 digits) China Unicom (VNO for IoT purposes) N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
130–132 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
133 China Telecom1 N/A5 LTE NR
134(0–8) China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
1349 Chinasat (operated by China Telecom) Satellite
135–139 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
140 (13 digits) reserved for China Unicom (IoT), due to NR technical difficulties, no 1400(0-9) numbers will be provided N/A
141 (13 digits) China Telecom (IoT)
currently only 1410(0-9) are used, the rest, 141(10-99) are reserved for future 5G IoT card plans
N/A5 LTE NR
142–143 (13 digits) reserved for future IoT carriers N/A
144 (13 digits) China Mobile (IoT)
currently only 1440(0-9) and 1441(0-9) are used, the rest, 144(20-99) are reserved for future 5G IoT card plans
GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
145 China Unicom (formerly Data-plans only)
only new TD-LTE, LTE-FDD, LTE-A or NR wireless network card users may got a new 145 number, but can also be used to connect 3G network
N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
146 China Unicom (IoT) N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
147 China Mobile (formerly Data-plans only)
Used for "one SIM with dual-number" service of CMHK in Mainland
GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
148 China Mobile (IoT) GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
149 China Telecom (formerly Data-plans only)
only new TD-LTE, LTE-FDD, LTE-A or NR wireless network card users may got a new 149 number
N/A5 LTE NR
150–152 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
153 China Telecom1 N/A5 LTE NR
154 reserved for future mobile carriers N/A
155–156 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
157 China Mobile
also used for CM wireless landlines
GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
158–159 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
161 reserved for future mobile carriers N/A
162 China Telecom (VNO) N/A5 LTE NR
164 reserved for future mobile carriers N/A
165 China Mobile (VNO) GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
166 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
167 China Unicom (VNO) N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
170(0-2) China Telecom (VNO) N/A5 LTE NR
1703 China Mobile (VNO) GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
1704 China Unicom (VNO) N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
170(5-6) China Mobile (VNO) GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
170(7-9) China Unicom (VNO) N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
171 China Unicom (VNO)
also used by Hong Kong 3 as sub-number of their SIM cards in Mainland
N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
172 China Mobile (IoT)

Used for "one SIM with dual-number" service of CTM in Mainland

GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
173 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
174(00-05) Tiantong (operated by China Telecom) Satellite
174(06-12) MIIT Emergency Communication Support Center emergency mobile call
174(13-89) reserved for satellite phones N/A
1749 Inmarsat2 Satellite
175–176 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
177 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
178 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
180–181 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
182–184 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
185–186 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
187–188 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
189–191 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
192 China Broadnet N/A LTE6 NR
193 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
194 reserved for future mobile carriers N/A
195 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
196 China Unicom N/A4 WCDMA7 LTE NR
197–198 China Mobile GSM4 N/A3 LTE NR
199 China Telecom N/A5 LTE NR
  1. China Unicom before 2009
  2. Operated by China Transport Telecommunication Information Group Co., Ltd.
  3. TD-SCDMA networks deprecated by China Mobile in 2020
  4. China Unicom finalize deprecated the GSM networks in 2021. A plan to deprecate GSM by China Mobile announced in 2023, scheduled to shut down in 2025[1][2]
  5. CDMA2000 1x Ev-Do networks deprecated in 2022,[1] and CDMA2000 1x RTT in 2024[3]
  6. LTE compatibility of China Broadnet SIM cards only available on Apple iOS devices
  7. WCDMA networks are being deprecated by China Unicom since 2023

1G TACS networks were provided by China Telecom since 1987, operations transferred to China Mobile in 1999, the year China Mobile established, 1G shut down in 2001.

Calling formats

To call phone numbers in China one of the following formats is used:

  • For fixed phones:

xxx xxxx | xxxx xxxx Calls within the same area code

0yyy xxx xxxx | 0yyy xxxx xxxx Calls from other areas within China

+86 yyy xxx xxxx | +86 yyy xxxx xxxx Calls from outside China

  • For mobile phones:

1nn xxxx xxxx Calls to mobile phones within China

+86 1nn xxxx xxxx Calls to mobiles from outside China

Area 1 – Capital Operation Center

The prefix one is used exclusively by the national capital, Beijing Municipality.

  • Beijing – 10 (formerly 1, abolished after GSM was introduced, to avoid conflict with mobile phone numbers with prefix 0 added (e.g. 0139-xxxx-xxxx))

Area 2 – Country Communication System Operating Center

These are area codes for the municipalities of Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing, as well as several major cities with early access to telephones. These cities have upgraded to an 8-number system in the past decade[when?]. All telephone numbers are 8-digit in these areas.

1 - Formerly 811 in urban area and 814 in Yongchuan, both abolished in 9 August 1997; 819 for Wanxian and 810 for Fuling and Qianjiang, abolished in 28 November 1998.
2 - Formerly 410 for Tieling and 413 for Fushun, abolished in 28 August 2011;[4] 414 for Benxi, abolished in 24 May 2014.
3 - Formerly 832, 833, abolished 2010.[5]
4 - Formerly 910, abolished 2006.[6]

It's still unclear whether 26 will be provided or not, some local materials say that it's reserved for Taiwan (especially its capital Taipei), but currently they use +886.[7] Some proposals from planned independent cities (Chinese: 计划单列市) to get rights to operate 026 were also unsuccessful.[8][9]

Area 3 – Northern China Operation Center

These are area codes for the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Henan.

Hebei – 31x 33x

Shanxi – 34x 35x

Henan – 37x 39x

1 - Formerly 378, abolished in 26 October 2013.
2 - Formerly 397 for 7 east counties, abolished in 20 October 2005.

Area 4 – Northeastern China Operation Center

These are area codes for the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, and the provinces in Northeast China (Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang). Additionally, numbers starting 400 are shared-pay (callers are charged local rate anywhere in the country) numbers [citation needed].

Liaoning – 41x 42x

Jilin – 43x 44x

1 - except Gongzhuling which still uses 434 of Siping

2 - Hunchun formerly 440, abolished in 16 September 2006
3 - Meihekou, Liuhe, Huinan formerly 448, abolished in 16 September 2006

Heilongjiang – 45x 46x

1 -Acheng formerly 450, abolished.
2 - Includes Jiagedaqi and Songling, where considered part of Inner Mongolia by de jure

Inner Mongolia – 47x 48x

1 - Jiagedaqi and Songling are de facto under the administration of the Daxing'anling
Prefecture
, uses 457.

Area 5 – Eastern China Operating Center

These are area codes for the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong (predominantly), Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian.

Jiangsu – 51x 52x

All telephone numbers are 8-digit in Jiangsu.

1 - Changshu, Kunshan, Taicang, Wujiang and Zhangjiagang are formerly 520, abolished in 20 April 2002.

Shandong – 53x 54x

Anhui – 55x 56x

1 - Formerly 565 for Chaohu prefectural city era (i.e. before 2011), later splitted as: Hefei's 551 for Juchao district (now county-level Chaohu) and Lujiang county, Wuhu's 553 for Wuwei and Shenxiang Town of He county (now part of Jiujiang district), and Ma'anshan's 555 for He county (except Shenxiang) and Hanshan county.
2 - Split from Fuyang in 2000, no new area code allocated.

Zhejiang – 57x 58x

Fujian – 59x 50x

1 - Kinmen, Matsu, and Wuchiu are under Taiwanese control, and hence use international calling code of +886.

Area 6 – Supplement for Shandong(63x), Guangdong(66x), Yunnan(69x)

All area codes with prefix 6 were assigned in recent years. This prefix (+866) previously was reserved for Taiwan, which is now assigned (+886).[10]

Shandong – 63x

While most areas in Shandong use the prefix 53x 54x, some sites also use the prefix 6.

Laiwu was using 634, now merged to Jinan's 531, former numbers are re-prefixxed as 5317 when merging.

Guangdong – 66x

While most areas in Guangdong use the prefix 75x and 76x, some sites also use the prefix 6. The provincial capital Guangzhou uses code 20.

Chaoyang county-level city was using 661, now changed to 754 after splitted to Chaoyang and Chaonan districts and join Shantou.

Yunnan – 69x

While most areas in Yunnan use the prefix 87x and 88x, a couple of areas also use the prefix 6.

Area 7 – Central-Southern China Operating Center

These are area codes for the central provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong (predominantly), Jiangxi, and the autonomous region of Guangxi.

Hubei – 71x 72x

20 - except Huarong district which uses Wuhan's 27.

Hunan – 73x 74x

21 - Formerly 733, abolished.
22 - Formerly 732, abolished.

Guangdong – 75x 76x

23 - Shunde formerly 765, abolished.

Guangxi – 77x 78x

24 - Split from Wuzhou Prefecture, original area code inherited.
25 - Split from Liuzhou Prefecture, original area code inherited.
26 - Split from Yulin Prefecture, original area code inherited.
27 - Split from Nanning Prefecture, original area code inherited.

Jiangxi – 79x 70x

Area 8 -Southwestern China Operating Center

These are area codes for the provinces of Sichuan, Hainan, Guizhou, Yunnan (predominantly) and the autonomous region of Tibet.

Sichuan – 81x 82x 83x

Guizhou – 85x 86x

28 - Formerly 852, 853, abolished 2014.[12]

Yunnan – 87x 88x

29 - Dongchuan formerly 881, incorporated into 871
30 - also de facto used by Wa State of  Myanmar

Tibet/Xizang – 89(1–7)

Hainan – 898

All telephone numbers are 8-digit in Hainan.

Formerly (most likely before 2000), Sanya, Wuzhishan, Lingshui, Ledong, Baoting and Qiongzhong were 899, Danzhou, Dongfang, Lingao, Baisha and Changjiang were 890.

Area 9 – Northwestern China Operating Center

These are area codes for northwestern regions including the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai, as well as the autonomous regions of Ningxia and Xinjiang.

Shaanxi (陕西) – 91x 92x

Gansu – 93x 94x

31 - Shared area code due to small size.

Ningxia – 95x 96x

Qinghai – 97x 98x

32 - Area under the administration of Golmud uses 979, other landlines within the prefecture use 977.

Xinjiang – 99x 90x

33 - except Wusu and Dushanzi District which use Kuytun's 992.
34 - except Shawan county which uses Shihezi's 993, and Hoboksar county which uses Karamay's 990.

Emergency numbers

From within Mainland China, the following emergency numbers are used:

In most cities, the emergency numbers assist in Mandarin Chinese and English.

Starting from 2012 in Shenzhen, an implemented system upgrade to unify three emergency reporting services into one number, 110. A similar approach is being installed in more cities in China to make them more convenient.

Dialing 112, 911, and 999 (outside Beijing without area code 010) plays a recording message about the correct emergency numbers in Chinese and English twice: "For police, dial 110. To report a fire, dial 119. For ambulance, dial 120. To report a traffic accident, dial 122." on China Mobile and China Unicom phones, NO SERVICES will be redirected. The error messages "Number does not exist" will be played on China Telecom phones, and NO SERVICES will be redirected. However, some local report said that in sometimes, only within Beijing, China Unicom landlines and mobile phones call 010-112 may be successful as reporting service for call failures.

Others

From within Mainland China, the following special numbers are used:

  • 100xx – Telecommunications Customer Service
    • 10000 for China Telecom, formerly 1000
    • 10010 for China Unicom, 10015 for auditing CU's services, formerly 1001
    • 10020-10049 for VNOs
    • 10086 for China Mobile (formerly 1860), 10050 for Tietong, 10080 for auditing CM's services, 1008611 for directly checking phone bills
    • 10096 for China Tower
    • 10099 for China Broadnet
  • 106SMS access code
  • 11185Post (11183 for their EMS)
  • 114Directory assistance, operate by China Unicom for the northern 10 provinces, and China Telecom for the southern 21 provinces, China Unicom also operates 116114, and China Telecom 118114 that the operations are same as 114
  • 116xxx – Premium service of China Unicom (e.g. 116114)
  • 118xxx – Premium service of China Telecom (e.g. 118114)
  • 12114 – SMS name and address standard trial platform, not for calling
  • 12117Speaking clock
  • 12121Weather
  • 12123 – Traffic police services
  • 123xx – Government service, 12345 is the general number for all services below, that may be transited by 12345 operators upon kind of requests:

12303proposals[note 2]
12305SPB post appeals[note 3]
12306railway services
(10-)12308MFA Consular assistance
12309SPP reports
12310CIOC reports
12313tobacco reports[note 3]
12314water reports
12315consumer reports[note 4]
12316 – agricultural services[note 4]
(10-)12317 – poverty helps[note 4]
12318cultural reports[note 4]
12319urban development services[note 4]
12320health services[note 4]
12321MIIT Internet disinfos and spam reports
12323MNR maritime report
12325food audit
12326CAAC audit
12328transportation illegal reports[note 4]
12329housing fund services[note 4]
12333MHRSS services[note 4]
(10-)12335MoC Multinational corporation reports
12337CPLAC anti-blacks
12338women helps
12339MSS reports
12340statistics[note 5]
12348MoJ legal services and aids[note 4]
12350MEM safety reports[note 4]
12351ACFTU workers' helps
12355CYL Adolescence services
12360custom services[note 3]
12361PDCCP Xuexi Qiangguo
12363PBC financial reports
12366tax services[note 3]
12367immigration services[note 3]
12368court services
12369environment reports[note 4]
(10-)12370MHRSS Civil services
12371ODCCP community member consult
12377CAC Internet illegal and disinfo reports
12378CBIRC reports
(10-)12379MEM emergency situation info release
12380ODCCP reports
12381MIIT public services
12385disabled services[note 4]
12386CSRC Investor services
12388CCDI and NSC reports
12389MPS reports
12390 – anti-pornography, illegal and copyvio publishing reports
12393NHSA services[note 4]
12395MSA Shipwrecking helps
12398 – energy audits

  • 124xCarrier Identification Code (formerly 190/196/197, abolished in 2018, to create space for mobile phone numbers.)
  • 125xx – Premium service of China Mobile (e.g. 12580 for China Mobile's Directory assistance)
  • 179xx + target number followedVoIP (e.g. 17901-133-0000-0000, 1790 for China Telecom, 1791 for China Unicom, and 1795 for China Mobile)
  • 400 xxx xxxx, 800 xxx xxxx – business numbers
    • Differences: bills for 400 numbers are paid by both originating and terminating callers, and support calling from both landlines and mobile phones (usually 400-1/7 operate by China Mobile, 400-0/6 operate by China Unicom, 400-8/9 operate by China Telecom); bills for 800 numbers are just paid by terminating callers, but for non-landline users, mostly only China Telecom mobile phones may call 800 phones, because nearly all 800 phones are operated by China Telecom
    • 400-881-0000 for auditing China Telecom's services
  • 95xxx, 95xxxx, 95105xxx- Service number (nationally)
  • 955xx – Bank, Insurance, Airlines service hotline, (nationally, ex. 95588Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) )
  • 96xxx, 96xxxx – Service number (locally, area code needed for calls from other provinces or autonomous region or province-level municipality.)

(ex. 962288 in Shanghai – Shanghai foreigner assistant hotline, outside Shanghai people should dial 021-962288, or they will receive an error message or undesired service message)

Former

  • 20x (mainly 200 and 201) – was used for IC telephone service, to be reserved for mobile phones
  1. ^ +86-10-68995110 when located at EEZs or public seas, where mobile signals are unable to provide
  2. ^ SMS only, calling 12345 for this purpose will be hung up, with a SMS instruction returned
  3. ^ a b c d e calling center merged with 12345, but numbers and service seats still work
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n calling center and seats merged with 12345, but numbers still work
  5. ^ remote users are only able to receive phones from 12340, they can't directly call this number

International Access Code

The international access code from the PRC is 00. This must also be used for calls to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau from the Chinese mainland, together with their separate international codes, as follows:

place! Prefix
(All countries) 00 CountryCode AreaCode SubscriberCode
Taiwan 00 886 xxx xxx xxx[13]
Hong Kong 00 852 xxxx xxxx[14]
Macau 00 853 xxxx xxxx[15]
NANP 00 1 xxx xxx xxxx
UK 00 44 xxxxxxxxxx
Japan 00 81 xxxxxxxxx

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "中国电信提出要加快2G/3G退网 原计划2024年底完成但貌似还要提前" (in Chinese). 29 September 2022.
  2. ^ "中国移动2G网络退网公告:全面升级4G/5G,提升用户体验". 2023-09-17.
  3. ^ "中国电信800M黄金频率再获1M频段,CDMA准备退网 - 中国电信,CDMA,800M频率,4G - IT之家". www.ithome.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-07. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  4. ^ "沈阳、抚顺、铁岭正式开始共用"024"长途区号-搜狐新闻".
  5. ^ "成都眉山资阳三地将共用长途区号028_新闻中心_新浪网".
  6. ^ "西安咸阳今夜电话同区号-搜狐新闻".
  7. ^ "中国的区号为什么缺026?_话题广场_评论频道_腾讯网". Tencent News. Archived from the original on 2014-05-21. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  8. ^ "区号026争夺与台北猜想". Tencent News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  9. ^ "026区号之争民间热议官方低调 长株潭并未申报". Sohu News. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2022-09-05.
  10. ^ The story of Taiwan's calling code Archived 2016-02-08 at the Wayback Machine, Taipei Times, October 5, 2010
  11. ^ Nanhai No. 1 & Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum Archived 2016-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "贵阳遵义安顺实现通信同城化 共享区号0851".
  13. ^ China Vista Archived 2022-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, Eugene Law, China Intercontinental Press, 2004, page 519
  14. ^ China International Business: The Monthly Publication of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, P.R.C Archived 2022-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, Issues 7–12, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, 2002
  15. ^ China Law Archived 2022-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, Issues 1–6, 2008, page 50
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Telephone numbers in China
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