|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 internal 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. The target number must be prepended between different regions with the trunk prefix, which is 0.
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 "0om outside mainland China.
The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are not part of this numbering plan and use the country codes +852 and +853, respectively.
In addition, there have been rumors suggesting that the PRC numbering plan once reserved the "026" space for Taiwan (currently +886). However, Yang Peifang, an assistant chief engineer at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), denied such a claim. He pointed out that even after China is unified, Taiwan would continue to hold on to its current "+886" area code, just like Hong Kong and Macau, because possessing multiple international area codes is considered a resource.
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 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 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 was 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 phone numbers in China people one of the following formats 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
The prefix one is used exclusively by the national capital, Beijing Municipality.
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. All telephone numbers are 8-digit in these areas.
3 - Formerly 811, 814, 819, 810, 829, abolished 1997.
4 - Formerly 410, 413, abolished 2011, and 414, abolished in 2014.
5 - Formerly 832, 833, abolished 2010.
6 - Formerly 910, abolished 2006.
These are area codes for the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Henan.
8 - Formerly 378, abolished.
9 - Formerly 397, abolished.
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.
10 - Hunchun formerly 440, abolished
11 - Meihekou, Liuhe, Huinan formerly 448, abolished
12 -Acheng formerly 450, abolished.
13 - Jiagedaqi and Songling are de facto under the administration of the Daxing'anling
Prefecture, uses 457.
14 - Jiagedaqi and Songling are de facto under the administration of the Daxing'anling
Prefecture, uses 457.
These are area codes for the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong (predominantly), Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian.
All telephone numbers are 8-digit in Jiangsu.
15 - Split from Fuyang in 2000, no new area code allocated.
16 - Kinmen, Matsu, and Wuchiu are under the international calling code of +886.
All area codes with prefix 6 were assigned in recent years. This prefix (+866) previously was reserved for Taiwan, which is now assigned (+886).
While most areas in Shandong use the prefix 53x 54x, some sites also use the prefix 6.
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.
While most areas in Yunnan use the prefix 87x and 88x, a couple of areas also use the prefix 6.
These are area codes for the central provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong (predominantly), Jiangxi, and the autonomous region of Guangxi.
17 - Formerly 733, abolished.
18 - Formerly 732, abolished.
19 - Split from Wuzhou Prefecture, original area code inherited.
20 - Split from Liuzhou Prefecture, original area code inherited.
21 - Split from Yulin Prefecture, original area code inherited.
22 - Split from Nanning Prefecture, original area code inherited.
These are area codes for the provinces of Sichuan, Hainan, Guizhou, Yunnan (predominantly) and the autonomous region of Tibet.
23 - Formerly 852, 853, abolished 2014.
24 - Dongchuan formerly 881, incorporated into 871
All telephone numbers are 8-digit in Hainan.
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.
25 - Shared area code due to small size.
26 - Area under the administration of Golmud uses 979, other landlines within the prefecture use 977.
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.
From within Mainland China, the following special numbers are used:
(ex. 962288 in Shanghai – Shanghai foreigner assistant hotline, calls outside Shanghai is people will play 021-962288, or a message will reach error message or undesired service)
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|