Shanghai Blog

Call with IP prefix from China

In China both China Mobile and China Unicom have IP prefix numbers you can dial in front of the foreign country code and phone number (probably also China Telecom got it but I’ve never used that). Btw for dialling international phone numbers you need to first enable that service.
Also if you want to receive foreign phone calls in China you will need a registered phone number (registered with ID card or passport) or it will get blocked. When my mum visited a few years ago I bought an unregistered SIM card for her on the street (it saves a lot of time compared to going to China Mobile/Unicom) but after she received several phone calls from Sweden the SIM card was out of service within two days. After going to the local phone company office and registering it with her passport it was enabled again.

So if you have a phone number that can call internationally how to get a better rate? Knowing which IP number to use can be quite confusing.

From China Unicom website (


申请开通国际长途业务后,您可以在本城市直接拨打国外城市用户的电话,或加拨17911后拨打对方号码。 标准资费: 直接拨打=本地通话费+长途通话费0.80元/6秒 加拨17911=本地通话费+IP长途费3.60元/分钟(拨打美国、加拿大2.40元/分钟,拨打印度、巴基斯坦、越南、也门、朝鲜、孟加拉、洪都拉斯、伊朗、马里、卡塔尔、贝宁、蒙古、肯尼亚、卢旺达4.60元/分钟) 上述本地通话费、长途通话费、IP长途费以及相关业务办理方法均以当地联通分公司公布为准。 特别提示: 每日0:00-7:00为优惠时段,国际长途通信费部分按标准价的60%收取,即0.48元/6秒(限15个国家享受此优惠时段,分别是日本、美国、新加坡、澳大利亚、新西兰、法国、英国、意大利、泰国、马来西亚、德国、加拿大、韩国、印度尼西亚、菲律宾),拨打IP长途电话无优惠时段。

Foreign long-distance call
After applying foreign long-distance service, you can directly call international phone number from your local city, or dial 17911 before dialling the phone number.
Standard costs:
Direct call = local call cost + long distance costs 8 rmb/min
Add 17911 = local call cost + IP long distance cost 3.60 rmb/min (USA, Canada 2.40 rmb/min; India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Yemen, North Korea, Bengal, Honduras, Iran, Mali, Qatar, Benin, Mongolia, Kenya, Rwanda 4.60 rmb/min)
Above mentioned local, long-distance and IP call fees along with correlated service handling methods are all according to local China Unicom offices’ standard.
Special notice:
Everyday 00.00-07.00 has preferential rate, with international long-distance communication fee collected according to 60% of standard fee, that is 4.8 rmb/min (limited to 15 countries with this preferential time, they are Japan, USA, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, Canada, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines); calling IP long-distance do not have preferential time period.

Chinese study note: In the sentence above “均” means “all”.

The website above doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2012. There is another China Unicom website (updated 2016) at

(一)10193 国际及台港澳长途电话优惠资费(广东省资费具体见分公司公布的优惠资费标准。)
[table with countries and rates]

Add 10193 to call international, Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau long-distance calls with optimal rate:
10193 international, Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau long-distance call preferential fees (For specific Guangdong province fees meet with local branch office for prefential fee standard.)

Preferential rate
0.39 rmb/min Hongkong, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand (not incl ACES006681200,006681201), India, Australia fixed phone numbers (not incl Cocos island 00619162, Christmas island 00619164, Special service 006113 and 006114, mobile numbers 00614)
0.69 rmb/min Taiwan (not incl 008861418, 00886986, 00886973, 008869712, 008869713, 008869714, 008869715, 008869001), Macau, Korea
0.99 rmb/min Brunei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam
1.69 rmb/min England (not incl 00447, 00449 etc), France (not incl 0033638, 0033640, French Antilles 003359 etc), Germany (not incl 00497 etc), Austria (not incl 00437, 00438 etc), Italy (not incl 003931, 003937, 003938, 003939 etc), Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, New Zealand, Australia mobile numbers 00614 (Not incl Cocos island 00619162, Christmas island 00619164, Special service 006113 and 006114, fixed numbers etc), Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey

And so on.

When I had China Mobile I used to use the 12593 prefix for cheaper international calls (IP call). Not really sure this was correct though, seems 12593 is for cheaper long-distance calls within China, and 17951 is for cheaper international calls.

Posted: 18 Aug 2016