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How to Open a Bank Account in China

Complete this simple step to getting settled


Joe O Neill

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About China

Opening a bank account in Shanghai is a surprisingly simple process. You’ll need a passport, an address (some banks will accept the address of the hostel or hotel you are staying) and a local phone number. Larger branches of the bigger banks, such as ICBC or Bank of China, are more likely to have English speaking representatives.

Make sure to get an ATM card when you open an account. ATM machines are all over Shanghai; you’ll be able to keep your money safe in China and use your card right away.

While opening an account is simple, a lost card can require you to have your passport plus another form of ID, and almost all over the counter transactions require a passport.

What to do if you lose your bank card

If you believe you have lost your bank card in a bank’s ATM machine, try to go to that branch of the bank to claim your card as soon as possible; banks often hold on to lost cards for several days before transferring them to the central branch. It will be much quicker for you to claim your bank card back directly if this is possible.

When you go to the bank to collect your lost card, bring your passport;you will not be able to claim your card without it.

If you need to order a new bank card, the process can take up to 7 days. If possible, take two forms of ID to the bank: your passport and another form of official ID such as a driving license.

Major banks in China

Bank of China

Customer Service Phone Number – (hotline) 95566

China Construction Bank

Customer Service Phone Number – 400 120 5568

Agricultural Bank of China

Customer Service Phone Number – (hotline) 95599

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Customer Service Phone Number – (hotline) 95588


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