How To: Get a Chinese Phone Number for Business

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In this article, AVOXI explains how to get great quality Chinese phone numbers for business. We’ll discuss the different types of China virtual phone numbers available, Chinese phone number restrictions, and review some best practices for speaking with potential providers.

Setting Up a China DID Number, 800 Toll Free Number, or 400 Toll Free Number

China commands the second largest economy in the world in terms of total GDP, and the nation shows no sign of slowing down. In addition to being one of the biggest markets in the world, China’s economy is also one of fastest growing. As reported by the BBC, China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017. On top of that, the Boston Consulting Group expects China to account for 27% of total consumption growth from major economies by 2021.

With growth like that, it is no wonder that companies around the world wish to expand to China. However, reaching the Chinese market is challenging. China’s geographic size and strict regulatory environment make it difficult for many companies to get Chinese phone numbers for business. While VoIP technology makes it easier than ever to establish virtual phone numbers around the world, many providers still struggle to offer consistent, cost-effective service in China.

Let’s take a look at the different Chinese number types, requirements for securing Chinese phone numbers, and questions to ask VoIP providers to ensure you get the best Chinese phone number and service for your business.

Choosing the Right Chinese Phone Number

As in most nations, China provides both local and toll free numbers. However, due to both the geographic size of the country and rapid infrastructure advancement, China has unique toll free numbering system. A brief overview outlines the three types of phone numbers available.

Types of Chinese Virtual Numbers

You have a few different options for virtual numbers in China: Local (DID) numbers, Toll Free 800 numbers, and 400 Toll Free numbers.

  • DID numbers are virtual numbers with local area codes.
  • China 800 Toll Free numbers
  • China 400 Toll Free numbers

Below, we will expand on what each number is and what restrictions it may carry.

China DID Number (China Local Phone Number)

The Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number is a virtual phone number with a local area code. China DID numbers help you establish credibility in China at a local level. The China local phone number has a specific area code for each city or region.

Pros and cons include:

  • Provides a local presence in a city. It is great for a focused entry into a specific market or to work with a specific vendor.
  • China DID numbers are accessible from mobile phones.
  • It is a shared cost number. Your callers pay the local call charge. You pay the minute rates.
  • Registration requirements require you to provide copies of your business license, passport, and utility bill.
  • China DID numbers from VoIP vendors have limited availability for select cities.
  • Limit of 2 channels per number is standard. Select providers (like AVOXI) have unlimited channels available.

China 800 Toll Free Number

The 800 number is similar to regional 800 numbers in other nations. To have full coverage of China, you need two 800 numbers—one for northern China and one for southern China.

Pros and cons include:

  • Chinese land lines call free of charge.
  • No registration documents required to provision the number.
  • Mobile phones cannot access 800 numbers.
  • Full coverage of the country requires two 800 numbers.

The China 800 numbers are a good solution when your customers or partners are not reliant on mobile phones and when call charges are an important part of the call decision. For instance, 800 numbers offer solutions to reach your customer support or counseling services.

China 400 Toll Free Number

China 400 numbers are the popular alternative to 800 numbers for toll free calling in China. A single 400 number covers all of China and is accessible from landlines and mobile phones. Although 400 numbers charge callers local call rates, the numbers are referred to as “toll free” numbers in China. 400 numbers generally have higher subscription fees and lower per-minute rates than China 800 numbers.

One important cultural point about the 400 number will help with your decision based on your intended customers. The number 4 is considered “unlucky.” While that is not generally a factor in the more modernized cities and in advanced industries, it is worth your consideration depending on the markets you want to reach.

Pros and cons include:

  • A China 400 numbers covers all of the country—one number for the entire region.
  • A 400 phone number is accessible from both landlines and mobile phones.
  • China 400 numbers are a shared-cost number. The cost to a customer is the same as if that person makes a regular toll call, but there are no long distance charges.
  • Registration requirements mandate you to provide copies of your business license, passport, and utility bill.

What to Ask China Phone Number Providers

Entering any new, national market offers opportunities along with challenges. Selecting the right provider helps prepare and plan for your success. When evaluating providers, there are certain questions to ask that ensure the selected provider offers the right service to meet your specific business needs:

  • What are the documentation requirements to secure your selected number type?
  • What is the availability of your preferred number type?
  • What is the monthly subscription fee?
  • What is the rate per minute? Are bundled minute packages available?
  • What features come with the virtual number? Are there additional costs for select features?
  • What is the timeframe for implementation?
  • Can you do tests for call quality?

As a leading provider of VoIP services for nearly 20 years, AVOXI established direct partnerships with multiple Chinese number carriers. In addition, our recent Asia expansion includes a point of presence (PoP) in Hong Kong helping to ensure high call quality and call routing within the Asia Pacific region.

Check out our comparison of providers to further help you determine the right China phone number for your business and to select your preferred provider.

[Comparison] Top 3 China Virtual Number Providers

For more information about China Phone Numbers, talk to a specialist or visit: