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by Matt Slater
31 October 2018
If you have done business with a Chinese company there is a good chance that their staff have provided you with a scan or photo of their China ID Card.
This ID Card, also known as the Resident Identity Card, is compulsory for all Chinese citizens and contains much information about the holder.
Each China ID Card has a unique 18-digit Citizen Identity Number and knowing this number alone can tell you the holder's date of birth, place of birth and gender.
The official name of the China ID Card is displayed on the front of each card in large Chinese characters:
Having an ID Card is compulsory for all citizens of Mainland China and most Chinese carry their card on their person most of the time.
The China ID Card is the size of a regular credit card, is of a standard design and contains important information on both sides.
Here is a sample of the front of a China ID Card:
Here is the back of the China ID Card, which usually contains a color photo of the individual on the right-hand side:
The following details are each displayed on the China ID Card:
All Chinese citizens are issued with a unique 18-digit Citizen Identity Number which stays with them for their whole life.
This national identification code follows a set pattern from which some basic information can be determined, such as their place and date of birth.
Here is a breakdown of how the number is created:
The address code pinpoints to a specific administrative division (in most cases a district or county) where a Chinese citizen was born.
The first 2 digits of the Citizen Identity Number represents the province, the next 2 digits the city and the final 2 digits the district or county.
There are nearly 3000 different address codes so it wouldn't be practical to list them all here, but here are the province codes (i.e. the first 2 digits of the Citizen Identity Number) for each region of China:
North China (华北)
North East China (东北)
East China (华东)
Central China (华中)
South China (华南)
South West China (西南)
North West China (西北)
Even if a Chinese citizen changes their hukou (household registration) to a different province, their citizen identity number doesn't change.
An interesting example of this is that older citizens of Chongqing have ID numbers beginning with 51 rather than 50, as Chongqing was carved out of Sichuan in 1997 to create a new province.
These 8 digits are simply the individual's date of birth in the format Year, Month, Day.
Interestingly with this 3-digit number, odd number are issued to males and even numbers to females. No other discernible information is revealed.
This digit is simply a check that the Citizen Identity Number is valid.
This website claims to generate valid China ID Card numbers and can also be used to identify all of the address codes.
Hi there, I'm Matt, the Founder & CEO of China Checkup. Originally from the UK, I am now based in Brisbane, Australia.
Frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies, I setup China Checkup whilst living in Shanghai in 2013.
My team are proud that China Checkup's company verification reports have now helped thousands of clients from all corners of the world to do business in China more safely.
by Matt Slater
30 January 2020
Launched by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the decades long process of Chinese economic reform has transformed China beyond recognition.
This article highlights some of the most significant events during this period in the form of a year by year timeline.
by Matt Slater
09 January 2020
Listening to China business podcasts can be a great way to get insights on the Chinese market, pick up new knowledge and get fresh perspectives.
The great news is that there is actually a lot of great podcasts out there on this topic - and in this article I have chosen my current top ten.
These podcasts cover business in China from a range of angles - including tech startups, importing/sourcing, economics and more - so if you are interested in learning more about China business you are sure to find quality material here.
by Matt Slater
31 October 2019
This article identifies over one hundred of the most informative English-language China news websites.
By regularly sharing news from China on our social media channels we have identified many good sources and thought it would be a good idea to share these with you, our readers.
So if you are looking for websites with news on China, look no further than this long list we have compiled.
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