|International call prefix||00|
Telephone numbers in China are organized and assigned according to the Chinese Telephone Code Plan of Mainland China. Land lines and mobile telephone numbers have different structures: land lines use area codes, while mobile phones do not. Land line phone numbers in large cities have 8 digits excluding area code, and in other areas no less than 7. Mobile phone numbers have 11 digits without area codes.
Dialing a land line from another land line within the same area code does not require dialing the area code. When making a domestic long distance call from a land line phone, the trunk prefix "0" is dialed first, followed by the area code and the telephone number. Calling a mobile phone from a land line requires the addition of the "0" in front of the mobile phone number as well. Mobile to land line calls always require the "0" and the area code, even when the land line is within the same area. Mobile to mobile calls does not require the "0". The "0" is not needed when dialing from outside mainland China.
In addition, the PRC numbering plan reserves space for Taiwan, but they are not currently used. PRC claims Taiwan and several islands of Fujian which are under the control of the Republic of China. Currently phone numbers in these areas are under the separate international calling code of 886. See Telephone numbers in Taiwan.
In mainland China, mobile phone numbers have 11 digits in the format 1xx-xxxx-xxxx. The first three digits of mobile phone numbers (13x, 15x and 18x) designate the mobile phone service provider and the next four digits is a regional code and the last four digits are assigned by the mobile service provider as part of the customer ID.
As the numbers were introduced over time, it is possible to recognize the age of a number: The oldest GSM numbers start with 1390..., the second oldest 1380... and 1300... Keeping the same number over time is somewhat associated with stability and reliability of the owner. The fourth digit was introduced later and is 0 for all old numbers. In a further extension, non-139,138,130 numbers were introduced. The fifth to seventh digit again relate to age and location.
Even earlier, before GSM age, mobile phones had numbers starting with 9. Those numbers were eventually translated into 1390xx9..., where xx were local identifiers.
Mobile service providers can be identified by the first three or four digits as follows:
|133||China Telecom *||CDMA|
|145||China Unicom||WCDMA (Data-plans only)|
|147||China Mobile||TD-SCDMA (Data-plans only)|
|156||China Unicom||GSM (upgradeable to WCDMA)|
These are area codes for the municipalities of Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, as well as several large 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, which it claims sovereignty over, but does not actually control.
The provincial capital, Shenyang, uses code 24.
The provincial capital of Nanjing uses code 25.
While most areas in Shandong use the prefix 5, some areas also use the prefix 6.
All area codes with prefix 6 were assigned in recent years. This prefix (+86 6...) was reserved for Taiwan (+886) during the cold war years.
The provincial capital of Wuhan uses code 27.
The provincial capital of Chengdu uses code 28.
Some areas in Yunnan use the prefix 6.
From within Mainland China, the following emergency numbers are used (and mainly in major cities):
In most cities, the emergency numbers provide assistance in Mandarin and English.
(to be completed)
From within Mainland China, the following special numbers are used:
The international access code from the PRC is 00. This must also be used for calls to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao from the Chinese mainland, together with their separate international codes. However, calls are charged at discounted rates. Examples are as follows:
|Taiwan||00 886 …|
|Hong Kong||00 852 xxxx xxxx|
|Macao SAR||00 853 xxx xxxx|
|US/Canada||00 1 xxx xxx xxxx|
|Singapore||00 65 xxxx xxxx|
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