The international country code for China is 86. In China, all Area Codes are preceded by a zero in front. The Area Codes for Shanghai for example is 021 and for Beijing it is 010.
Calling China From Abroad
Dial the international access code: 011 from the US; 00 from the UK, Ireland, or New Zealand; or 0011 from Australia;
Then dial the country code, 86, for China;
Thereafter, drop the first zero and dial the city code, eg 21 for Shanghai, and followed by the phone number.
Making Local Calls Withing China :
Local calls within the same city require no Area Code; For example in Shanghai, and calling another Shanghai-based number, just dial the eight-digit China number (or the three-digit emergency numbers for fire, police, and ambulance).
Calls from Shanghai to another location in China require that you dial the full domestic Area Code (which always starts a zero).
Similarly, if you are calling a Shanghai number from outside the city but within China, dial the Area Code (021) and then the number.
Public pay phones require either a deposit of a RMB 1 coin or an IC card available from post offices, most convenience stores, and street stalls. Card values begin at RMB 20.
Making International Calls from China :
To make international calls from China, first dial 00 and then the Country Code:
U.S. or Canada 1
New Zealand 64
Then dial the Area Code followed by the phone number.
You can also use your calling card to make international (but not domestic) calls from Shanghai. The followings are the local access number for selected calling cards:
- AT&T is 10-811
- MCI is 10-812
- Sprint is 10-813
For other phone card companies, please check with your hotel for the local access numbers. The directions for placing an international calling card call vary from company to company.
You may use an IP card to save money. IP card is available from post offices and most convenience stores. A RMB 50 card can yield you up to an hour's talk time depending on where you are calling. There should be Instructions in English on the back of the card.