Opinions, knowledge and resources from China Checkup's expert contributors
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
11 December 2020
View this comprehensive list of cities in China from Ankang to Zunyi!
We have included all cities in China that are either at, or above, prefecture-level and they are listed both alphabetically and grouped by province.
by Matt Slater
16 November 2020
This list of Chinese AMR websites includes links to the AMR branch website for each province/administrative region in China.
In case you're wondering, the acronym "AMR" stands for "Administration for Market Regulation", which is a newly-launched Chinese government agency created by the merger of many previous agencies, including the AIC and AQSIQ.
This super regulator is now responsible for a wide range of regulatory matters in Mainland China, so if you need to get in touch with them you should find this list of Chinese AMR websites useful.
by Matt Slater
10 November 2020
The China AEO Certificate is a document held by companies in China engaged in import and export activities.
Issued by China Customs, the certificate specifies the company's enterprise classification, which determines their level of inspections and more.
Requesting and verifying a supplier's China AEO certificate can be a sensible measure to understand if they are registered with China Customs as an "Authorized Economic Operator" and to check their AEO type.
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