Are you planning on traveling to China? This quick list of facts will help you get prepared for your trip and make it a little easier! Learn about visa requirements, currency, the top destinations for visitors and the best apps to use while you are there. Also, get a quick overview of important Chinese facts like language, industry and population.
General Requirements: Passport, Visa Application Form & Photo
- Original passport with at least two blank visa pages and at least 6 months of remaining validity, and a photocopy of the passport’s data page and photo page if it is separate.
- One completed China Visa Application Form attached with a recently-taken passport photo (48mm x 33mm, bare-head, full face, and against a light background).
If applying in a third country, you should also submit a proof of legal stay or residence permit, namely the original and photocopy of your valid visa, or certificates of stay, residence, employment or student status, or other valid certificates of legal staying provided by the relevant authorities of the third country.
Supporting Documents for Major Visa Types
What documents are needed for China visa application? Depending on the visa type you are applying for, additional documentation must be submitted.
Round-trip ticket booking record and proof of a hotel reservation, or an invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China with the following information:
- Information on the applicant (full name, gender, date of birth, etc.)
- Information on the planned visit (dates of arrival and departure, places of visit, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for expenditures, etc.)
- Information on the inviting entity or individual (name, contact number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the inviting individual)
Documents on the commercial activity issued by a trade partner in China, trade fair invitation or other invitation letters issued by relevant entity or individual. The invitation letter should contain the same information as described above for tourist visa.
An invitation letter issued by a relevant entity or individual in China, with details as described above for tourist visa.
Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in PRC.
For X1 visa with an intended stay of more than 6 months, applicants should also provide:
One of the following work permits is required:
- Foreigners Employment Permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC.
- Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of enterprises of foreign countries (regions) issued by Chinese authorities of industrial and commercial administration.
- Approval document for commercial performances issued by the Chinese government authorities for cultural affairs.
- Invitation Letter to Foreigners for Offshore Petroleum Operations issued by National Offshore Oil Corporation.
- An invitation letter from a foreigner who stays on a work Z or student X visa in China
- A photocopy of the inviting individual’s passport and residence permit
- Proof of kinship such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, certification of kinship issued by Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship (original and copy)
For more information about China Visa, you can click the link of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the USA.
- Top 10 Places to Visit in China
Things to Do
- Visit the Forbidden City to see the spectacular ancient architectural complex.
- Hike on the Great Wall to be a “real man” (according to Chairman Mao).
- Take a bike ride in the hutongs (narrow alleys) to experience Beijing’s traditional culture.
Things to Do
- Visit the amazing Terracotta Army.
- Bike on the Ancient City Wall.
- Hang out and snack in the Muslim Streets.
- Shanghai, with Suzhou and Hangzho
Things to Do
- Enjoy a leisurely boat tour, and explore an enchanting old water town.
- Appreciate traditional, captivatingly-landscaped Chinese gardens: Yu Garden in Shanghai, Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou, West Lake in Hangzhou
Things to Do
- Watch giant pandas and join a panda keeper program.
- Enjoy Sichuan Opera and watch magical face changing.
- Visit the Leshan Giant Buddha.
Things to Do
- Hike among the amazing pillars and peaks of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
- Take a cable car on ‘Heaven’s Doorway’ Mountain to enjoy fantastic views, and experience the chilling cliff-side glass path.
Things to Do
- Ascend the Yellow Mountains and see the spectacular rocks and seas of clouds.
- Visit the “artists’ muse” — the beautiful village of Hongcun.
Things to Do
- Take a cruise to see the picturesque Li River.
- Photograph the Longji Terraced Fields and experience minority culture in Longsheng.
- Discover the awe-inspiring and colorful Reed Flute Cave in Guilin City.
Things to Do
- Shop for relatively low-priced luxuries.
- Take a bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbor from Victoria Peak.
- Plan a one-day trip to Macau for casinos and colonial architecture.
Things to Do
- Visit the Qiao Family Compound — a quintessential 18th-century North China residence
- See old banks and shops in the ancient town.
Things to Do
- Take a Yangtze Cruise from Chongqing.
- Try delicious Chongqing food.
Best Apps while in China
Tencent’s WeChat is the superstar of Chinese mobile apps with 889 million users. It’s always compared to Whatsapp, but WeChat is more than a messaging app. Here you can play games, stay in touch with your friends, shop, and pay your bills.
WeChat’s ‘Moments’ is a perfect blend of Twitter and Facebook. It lets you see your friends’ posts, like them, and comment on them.
Tencent is also the world’s largest gaming company, so the games in WeChat are excellent and addicting. Some games like Dragon Warrior are even in 3D.
WeChat is available for both Android and iOS users.
QQ is an instant messaging service (IM) which is also developed by Tencent. It currently has 868 million monthly active users. Though it can be compared to Yahoo, QQ has cooler features like online social games, shopping, music and QQ Wallet. QQ Wallet lets you experience innovative payment, including online shopping and bank transfer.
QQ is available to Android, iOS, and Windows users.
Baidu is one of the largest internet companies in the world. Like Google, Baidu offers a search engine for websites, audio files, and images. However, Baidu focuses on the Chinese domestic market, news, and events. It also has unique offerings such as a missing person search and senior citizen search.
Baidu Baike is an online, collaboratively built encyclopedia like Wikipedia. Only registered Baidu users can edit the content of Baidu Baike.
They also have Baidu Music, which can be compared to Apple Music. It has more than 150 million active monthly users.
Android and iOS users can install and enjoy Baidu on their phones.
Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group and China’s leading online shopping platform. It’s a bigger and faster version of Amazon. It has 400 million active users, and 60 percent of them are under 30 years old.
Unlike other international online shopping apps, Taobao can deliver your order within hours. Their tracking system is also convenient. It’s being updated within minutes, and the app will send you a notification once your package arrives.
Taobao is available on Google Playstore and iTunes.
UC browser is the most popular mobile browser in China and also owned by Alibaba. It can be compared to the famous Google Chrome and Safari. But unlike the two giant apps, UC browser has customized themes that can give you a more personalized view.
Downloading files is also faster in UC browser. It also has data compression feature, ad block, and speed booster.
Both Android and iOS users can enjoy this app.
QQ browser is the rival of UC browser and the second most popular mobile browser. It can be compared to Safari and Google Chrome as well. Like UC browser, it also has an easy to use interface.
QQ browser can be installed on both Android and iOS phones.
Tencent Video is a popular video sharing platform and is equivalent to Youtube. It’s also HBO’s exclusive partner in China.
This mobile app has been on a roll recently. It surpassed Youku, the most popular Chinese video platform, in terms of mobile market share.
Tencent Video is available in Google Playstore and iTunes.
Alipay is the leading third-party payment platform in China. It’s similar to Paypal, but Alipay is packed with more features. You can use Alipay to transfer money, pay utility bills, even buy a bus ticket. All these transactions are free.
Alipay is available for both Android and iOS users.
Like Avast Mobile Security, 360 Security is an antivirus and memory management app. It has 641 million users. It helps owners clean their mobile storage and stop computer viruses.
Both Android and iOS users can install this app.
Youku is the biggest online video media source and considered as Youtube’s counterpart in China. Though it’s slowly losing to Tencent Video, Youku still has millions of viewers. Youku has partnered with over 1,500 license holders, including tv stations, distributors, and film production companies in China that upload content on the site.
The renminbi (Ab.: RMB; simplified Chinese: 人民币; traditional Chinese: 人民幣; pinyin: rénmínbì; literally: ‘people’s currency’; sign: 元/¥; code: CNY) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. The yuan (Chinese: 元; pinyin: yuán) is the basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used to refer to the Chinese currency generally, especially in international contexts where “Chinese yuan” is widely used to refer to the renminbi. The distinction between the terms renminbi and yuan is similar to that between sterling and pound, which respectively refer to the British currency and its primary unit. One yuan is subdivided into 10 jiao(Chinese: 角; pinyin: jiǎo), and a jiao in turn is subdivided into 10 fen (Chinese: 分; pinyin: fēn).
You can click here to check the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Chinese renminbi.
In 2019, China’s population stands at 1.418 billion, the largest of any country in the world. According to the 2010 census, 91.51% of the population was Han Chinese, and 8.49% were minorities. China’s population growth rate is only 0.59%, ranking 159th in the world.
Live China Population click here
The languages of China are the languages that are spoken in China. The predominant language in China, which is divided into seven major language groups (classified as dialects by the Chinese government for political reasons), is known as Hanyu(simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Hànyǔ) and its study is considered a distinct academic discipline in China. Hanyu, or Han language, spans eight primary varieties, that differ from each other morphologically and phonetically to such a degree that they will often be mutually unintelligible, similarly to English and German or Danish. The languages most studied and supported by the state include Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhuang. China has 299 living languages listed at Ethnologue. According to the 2010 edition of the Nationalencyklopedin, 955 million out of China’s then-population of 1.34 billion spoke some variety of Mandarin Chinese as their first language, accounting for 71% of the country’s population.
Standard Chinese (known in China as Putonghua), a form of Mandarin Chinese, is the official national spoken language for the mainland and serves as a lingua franca within the Mandarin-speaking regions (and, to a lesser extent, across the other regions of mainland China). Several other autonomous regions have additional official languages. For example, Tibetan has official status within the Tibet Autonomous Region, and Mongolian has official status within Inner Mongolia. Language laws of China do not apply to either Hong Kong or Macau, which have different official languages (Cantonese, English and Portuguese) than the mainland.
The politics of the People’s Republic of China takes place in a framework of a socialist republic run by a single party, the Communist Party of China, headed by General Secretary. State power within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is exercised through the Communist Party, the Central People’s Government (State Council) and their provincial and local representation.
Each local Bureau or office is under the coequal authority of the local leader and the leader of the corresponding office, bureau or ministry at the next higher level. People’s Congress members at the county level are elected by voters. These county-level People’s Congresses have the responsibility of oversight of local government and elect members to the Provincial (or Municipal in the case of independent municipalities) People’s Congress. The Provincial People’s Congress, in turn, elects members to the National People’s Congress that meets each year in March in Beijing. The ruling Communist Party committee at each level plays a large role in the selection of appropriate candidates for election to the local congress and to the higher levels.
Industry was 40.5% of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. In 2007, industry (including mining, manufacturing, construction, and power) contributed 46.8 percent of GDP in 2010 and occupied 27 percent of the workforce. In 2015, the manufacturing industrial sectors contributed to 40% of China’s GDP. The manufacturing sector produced 44.1 percent of GDP in 2004 and accounted for 11.3 percent of total employment in 2006.
China is the world’s leading manufacturer of chemical fertilizers, cement, and steel. Prior to 1978, most output was produced by state-owned enterprises. As a result of the economic reforms that followed, there was a significant increase in production by enterprises sponsored by local governments, especially townships and villages, and, increasingly, by private entrepreneurs and foreign investors, but by 1990 the state sector accounted for about 70 percent of output. By 2002 the share in gross industrial output by state-owned and state-holding industries had decreased with the state-run enterprises themselves accounting for 46 percent of China’s industrial output. In November, 2012 the State Council of the People’s Republic of China mandated a “social risk assessment” for all major industrial projects. This requirement followed mass public protests in some locations for planned projects or expansions.
Top unexpected industries
- Internet and Mobile Gaming
- International Travel
- Renewable Energy
- E-Commerce Market
- Electric Vehicle Market (EV)
Number of States/Providences
China has 34 provincial-level administrative units: 23 provinces, 4 municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing), 5 autonomous regions (Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Ningxia, Xinjiang) and 2 special administrative regions (Hong Kong, Macau).