Calling to and From China
Making calls to China
The international country code for China is +86. If dialing China from overseas, you should dial the international access number for your country, then 86, then the city code (eg. ‘10’ for Beijing, ‘21’ for Shanghai), then the city number (usually 8 digits).
When calling a Chinese mobile from overseas, dial the international access code for your country, then 86, then the full 11-digit mobile number.
If you call to another city from inside China, then dial the full city area code (eg. ‘010’ for Beijing, ‘021’ for Shanghai), and then the 8-digit city number.
If you want to call a number within the city where you are located then just dial the 8-digit number, without any prefixes.
Note that if you call a landline from a mobile phone then you should always include the full city area code, even if you are in that city.
Calling Overseas from China
IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at most small shops, newsstands and hotels. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40). Rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 20-25 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.
An easier and cheaper way to make calls abroad is to use a program like Skype.