Bills and Banking


Banks in China

In China you will be able to find a lot of International banks which work with a secure and efficient system. You can go to a cashier to get money at any time of the day or visit a bank office from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm during 7 days a week. Every bank in China owns their web banking service. These webs banking services give you access to check your balance, make online transfers, pay utility bill (like cellphone invoice/fee). In the great majority of the bank offices, people speak enough English to understand if you want to change money, do transference to another account or any similar bank operation.

There are some banks that you will find in mostly all main cities in China:

State-owned commercial banks as the Bank of China (BOC), the China Construction Bank (CCB), the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). These banks are the most important.

Policy banks as China Development Bank (CDB)

Second tier commercial banks as China CITIC Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank

City commercial banks as Bank of Beijing.

We recommend you to open a personal bank account. It’s relatively fast and easy. We also advise you to do it at the opening of the bank; and it would be better for you to avoid going on Mondays, Fridays and at the end of the month in order to avoid queuing too long time.

Before going to a bank, it would be better to own your Chinese cellphone’s number then you have to bring your passport, and complete a simple form. After be created, you must deposit a minimum, then you’ll receive an ATM card (you have to pay a small fee for this card). Thanks to that ATM Card, you can use it like a debit card, for cash withdrawal.

You will be able to transfer money from your hometown bank account into your china bank account. Whatever the country you come from, your china bank account are multi-currency (including EUR, USD, AUD, GBP, HKD, CAD and JPY). Generally, transfers are made within 3 to 5 days from foreign country to China. You can also use your overseas credit card to withdraw cash at the town’s ATMs.


In order to put down money on the electricity’s card, you have to go to a bank with your electricity card and the bank card too. One you are inside, tell to the welcome worker that you want to buy electricity (买电 mǎi diàn). The bank teller will guide and help you to the automated machine. The cost of electricity in Beijing for example, is 1 RMB for 2 Units. You have two ways to buy:

You can say how much money (for example, buy 300 yuans of electricity units: 买三百块的电: mǎi sān bǎi kuài de diàn) or how much units do you want (for example, 300 units: 充三百度: chōng sān bǎi dù).

We advise you to keep this card away from electromagnetic devices.


The payment depends on the compound where you are living in the city but in general, you have two types of water to pay and also different ways of payment. You have the possibility to pay in the office of compound management or to pay your water bill in a bank. Usually, reclaimed water and hot water are separate but in both cases you have to use your water card to pay. The cost of the water is around RMB 1.7 per cubic meter.


The gas expense depends on your house/apartment but you will have to pay through monthly bills. To do this, you can take that bill to a bank like we have explained.

Otherwise, you have to use the gas card that the landlord let you and ask him also where to put down money on that card. The cost of the gas is RMB 2 for 1 unit.


Internet in the People’s Republic of China can be provided by China Unicom and China Telecom. Each one has an English service. For China Unicom, you can call: 10010; for China Telecom, you may call: 10000.

Generally, you have to bring your passport and your address in Chinese. These providers are able to supply 1 MB to 4 MB, with the exception of China Unicom who provides up to 8MB.

Usually, you have to wait one week before using Internet.

In China Unicom, they will set up a telephone line and provide you a modem. Sometimes, the telephone line has already been set up. If you want to have internet connection for one year, the landlord could be gentle to pay for you at the Service Office, and then you just need to give him back the money.

China Unicom is able to provide 1MB to 8 MB Speed of bandwidth while China Telecom just supplies 1MB to 4 MB.

  • In China Unicom, prices vary from 138yuans/month to 1380yuans/year for 1MB and from 498yuans/month to 4980yuans/year for 8MB.
  • In China Telecom, prices vary from 129yuans/month to 1548yuans/year for 1MB and from 239yuans/month to 2190/year for 4MB.

Chinese money RMB



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