|Country calling code||+86|
|International call prefix||00|
Telephone numbers in China are organized according to the Chinese Telephone Code Plan. The numerical formats of landlines and mobile phones are different: landlines have area-codes, whereas mobile phones do not. In major cities, landline-numbers consist of a two-digit area code followed by an eight-digit inner-number. In other places, landline-numbers consist of a three-digit area code followed by a seven- or eight-digit inner-number. The numbers of mobile phones consist of eleven digits.
When one landline is used to dial another landline within the same area, it is not necessary to specify the area-code. Between different areas, the target-number must be prepended with the trunk-prefix, which is 0.
Calling a mobile phone from a land line requires the addition of the "0" in front of the mobile phone number if they are not in the same area as well. Mobile to land line calls require the "0" and the area code, if the land line is not within the same area. Mobile to mobile calls do not require the "0". The "0" is not dialled from outside mainland China.
In addition, the PRC numbering plan once reserved space for Taiwan, but have dropped this practice.
In mainland China, mobile phone numbers have 11 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 9, and had the same numbering format with fixed-line telephones. Those numbers were eventually translated into 1390xx9xxx, where xx were local identifiers.
The oldest China Mobile GSM numbers were 10-digit 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 131 in 1998. Keeping the same number over time is somewhat associated with stability and reliability of the owner. The 5th to 7th digit sometimes relates to age and location.
As the 4th digit was introduced on July 22, 1999, China's mobile phone numbers upgraded from 10-digit to 11-digit, with 0 added after 13x, and thus HLR code became 4-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 is required to be consigned to a real name in mainland China.
Mobile service providers can be identified by the first three or four digits as follows:
|140 (13 digits)||China Unicom (IoT)||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
|141 (13 digits)||China Telecom (IoT)||LTE/CDMA2000/cdmaOne|
|144 (13 digits)||China Mobile (IoT)||LTE/TD-SCDMA/GSM|
|145||China Unicom (formerly Data-plans only)||LTE/WCDMA|
|146||China Unicom (IoT)||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
|147||China Mobile (formerly Data-plans only)||LTE/TD-SCDMA|
|148||China Mobile (IoT)||LTE/TD-SCDMA/GSM|
|149||China Telecom (formerly Data-plans only)||LTE/CDMA2000/cdmaOne|
|162||China Telecom (VNO)||LTE/CDMA2000/cdmaOne|
|165||China Mobile (VNO)||LTE/TD-SCDMA/GSM|
|167||China Unicom (VNO)||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
|170(0/1/2)||China Telecom (VNO)||LTE/CDMA2000/cdmaOne|
|170(3/5/6)||China Mobile (VNO)||LTE/TD-SCDMA/GSM|
|170(4/7/8/9)||China Unicom (VNO)||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
|171||China Unicom (VNO)||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
|192||China Broadcasting Network||LTE/WCDMA/GSM|
1 - China Unicom before 2009
2 - Operated by China Transport Telecommunication & Information Center
To call in China, the following format is used:
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
1nn xxxx xxxx Calls to mobile phones within China
+86 1nn xxxx xxxx Calls to mobiles from outside China
These are area codes for the municipalities of Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, as well as several major cities with early access to telephones. All of these cities have upgraded to an 8-number system in the past decade. The People's Republic of China reserves code 26 for Taipei, capital of Taiwan.
All telephone numbers are 8-digit in these areas.
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.
The provincial capital of Nanjing uses code 25. All telephone numbers are 8-digit in Jiangsu.
Some areas in Shandong also use the prefix 63x:
All area codes with prefix 6 were assigned in recent years. This prefix (+866) previously was reserved for Taiwan, which is now assigned (+886).
The provincial capital of Wuhan uses code 27.
The provincial capital of Guangdong, Guangzhou, uses code 20.
Some areas in Guangdong use the prefix 66x:
Some areas in Yunnan use the prefix 69x:
From within Mainland China, the following emergency numbers are used:
Starting from 2012 in Shenzhen, a system upgrade was put in place to unify three emergency reporting services into one number, 110. This similar system 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. On China Telecom phones, error messages "Number does not exist" will be played, NO SERVICES will be redirected.
From within Mainland China, the following special numbers are used:
(ex. 962288 in Shanghai - Shanghai foreigner assistant hotline, calls outside Shanghai is 021-962288, or error message will be played or undesired service will be reached)
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:
|(All countries)||00 CountryCode AreaCode SubscriberCode|
|Taiwan||00 886 xxx xxx xxx|
|Hong Kong||00 852 xxxx xxxx|
|Macau||00 853 xxxx xxxx|
|NANP||00 1 xxx xxx xxxx|
|UK||00 44 xxxxxxxxxx|
|Japan||00 81 xxxxxxxxx|