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How to open a bank account in China

International students are suggested to open a Chinese bank account when they arrive the university. In China, some universities will help international students open bank accounts so that students don't have to worry about this; while in most cases, universities require students to open Chinese bank account themselves and hence it is necessary for students to get the knowledge of how to open bank account in China. Here are some tips for reference.

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1. Where to open a Chinese bank account?

Generally foreigners can easily open a bank account in a Chinese bank. There are many banks in China, such as Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank,China Development Bank and so on. You can open a Chinese bank account in any of these banks. The largest four banks in China are Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, which have many branch banks spread in different cities of China, so we strongly recommend students to open the bank account in one of these four banks. The relevant websites are listed in the end of this article.

Bank of China is the most internationalized and diversified bank in China and it provides full range of financial services in China's mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and other 31countries and areas. The ways to contact overseas branches are also listed in the end.

2. How to open a bank account?

Step 1 Before you enter the bank, you should prepare materials. One necessary document you need to bring with is the valid passport, but in some cases, a residence permit is also needed.

Step 2 After you enter the bank, you can ask the bank receptionist for help and they will guide you with the procedure of opening the bank account. They will ask you for the documents that are needed and help you to print the materials. In most banks, the print is free of charge, but in some banks you will be charged 0.5 or 1 yuan for one paper.

Step 3 After that, you will be given a form to fill in. Usually,there is a reference form presented on the clerk desk. You can take this form for reference and if you have any questions, just ask the bank receptionist for help.

Step 4 With the printed materials and filled form, you should then get a queue number from the Automatic Number Machine and wait on the waiting desk. You can also get this number when you enter the bank and then do other things that mentioned above to save time. Please pay attention to the broadcast and electronic screen while waiting there.

Step 5 Its your turn to deal with your business when your number is called. You should only give your printed materials and filled form to the banker who will help you to open the bank account. To open a Chinese RMB account, you have to pay a deposit of 10-15 yuan in most banks but the charge may be different in different banks.

After you have gone through all these steps, you will be given a debit card or a bank book. With this card or book, you can deposit or withdraw money, exchange currencies and wire money overseas.


Bank of China

Agricultural Bank of China

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

China Construction Bank


In the Asia-Pacific Region

In the European Region

In the Region of the Americas

In the African Region

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