How to Register Your Phone for China’s New Real-Name Requirement

How to Register Your Phone for China’s New Real-Name Requirement
Aug 19, 2016 Translated by

Editor’s Note: China recently passed a new law requiring anyone with a cell phone to sign up for their service plan using real-name registration. If you did not register with your ID card when you first bought your SIM card, then there are a number of ways you can register correctly. Since I purchased my SIM card from a tiny stand outside the supermarket it looks like I’m heading to a Unicom store ASAP.

It looks like the new law requiring real-name registration for cell phone plans is real after all! China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and all other major Chinese cellphone service carriers recently issued a joint announcement saying that all plans will now require the user to sign up using real-name registration. If you have a plan and did not register with your real name, your phone service may be shut off soon.


The providers said that plans will be shut down on August 15 for users who are not signed up with real-name registration. Users can only use their phones to call emergency services (this includes fire stations, police, ambulances, traffic police, and other emergency services).

Real-name registration means that each phone number in China will now be tied to an individual ID card. When you register for a phone number, you must use your ID card. This way, each number will be “owned” by a unique user.

You can easily check to see if your phone number was registered using the real-name registration system. On China Mobile, text “实名” to 10086 or call 10086. China Telecom users can text “507” to 10001 or call 10000. China Unicom users can text “实名” to 10010 or call 10010.

You also have a certain window of time to take care of the issue in person after your phone is shut off. The window is 60 days for China Mobile and 90 days for China Unicom. Users can go their telecom company’s store or office to register within this window. After this window, accounts that have not been registered will be canceled.

Each operator has different regulations:

China Mobile

If you originally registered with just your name and address, your service will most likely not get shut off for the time being. However, you must bring your ID card to a China Mobile official store as soon as possible in order to complete your registration.

If you registered for your phone plan without any identifying information, your service was most likely shut off on August 15. In some cases, phones are able to make calls but are not able to receive them. If you do not complete real-name registration soon then your service will be shut off. If you purchased a SIM card in the past and never used it, the accompanying service will also be shut off.  

China Unicom

Any users with plans without real-name registration are currently able to receive calls and SMS messages but cannot make calls or send messages. You must register with China Unicom before August 25 or your service will be shut off completely.

You can show your ID card at a China Unicom or Zhejiang Unicom official location. You can also send in a copy of your ID through the China Unicom official website or the Hangzhou Unicom official WeChat group. You can only use the online methods while your phone is in service. If your phone is shut off, you must register in person.

China Telecom

You have until August 25 to register your number with real-name registration or else your service will be shut off.

Users who have had their service shut off can register at a China Telecom official location, the China Telecom official website and the company’s WeChat. You can also call China Telecom’s customer service line 10000 and request that your service be tuned back on for an urgent reason (紧急复机). The company will turn your service on for 24 hours, which will allow you to register online or using WeChat.

However, each user can only reactive their service for 24 hours. After this you may have trouble getting service back if you did not register with real-name registration.

Source: QQ News

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Keywords: China Mobile real-name registration China Unicom real-name registration


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Registering your phone in China...Step 1 get a local Chinese person...Step 2 refer to step 1 for everything. HaHa

Aug 27, 2016 14:11 Report Abuse



ID Ai Ought naught have

Aug 20, 2016 20:00 Report Abuse



They said the same thing about a year ago and I stupidly went and got a new sim card. Nothing changed for my friends who ignored it, I ended up getting a crapload of spam and weird stuff happening on my phone and had a pain in the ass time trying to do it because they couldn't use my passport as id.

Aug 19, 2016 16:39 Report Abuse



I don't think this will affect foreigners, since we need to use our passport to sign up for cellphone services.

Aug 19, 2016 12:12 Report Abuse



That means now they want track everyone with their phone no.

Aug 19, 2016 11:56 Report Abuse