Opening a Bank Account in China


Why Open a Chinese Bank Account?


There are certain conveniences, such as shopping online, wiring money, and using ATMs, that you only have access to if you have a Chinese bank account.


Which Bank and Branch to Choose


China has multiple banks to choose from, the most notable being ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), Bank of Communication, ABC (Agricultural Bank of China), and China Merchant’s Bank. Generally, these banks’ services for foreigners tend to have no major differences.

Therefore, since there are certain things you can only do at the branch at which you opened your account (e.g. changing your password), it is best to choose the bank and branch that has the most convenient location for you.


What You Need


All you need is your passport and some cash as your first deposit. Some banks may also charge for the bank card, so it is best to bring around 50 yuan to be safe.


How to Open a Bank Account


When you arrive at the bank, do not go to the customer service desk. Instead, go straight to the information desk and tell them you would like to open an account. The desk worker can fill out the information form for you.

After the form is complete, you will receive a number. When your number is called, go up to the desk and provide them with your completed form and your passport. During the process, you will be asked to enter a 6-digit password. After signing a few more forms, you will receive a UnionPay Bank Card. Some banks charge for this card and some do not.