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How to open a bank account in China as a foreigner?

The year 2024 began with great uncertainty for many companies working with foreign partners: with bank accounts being blocked, the issue of creating an infrastructure for easy and fast banking transactions with various countries around the world has become acute.

Today, one of the best and most reliable options for fast transactions with all countries of the world is China. Having vast foreign exchange reserves and relatively low dependence on international financial institutions, China follows its own foreign trade and financial-monetary policy.

The format of interaction with banks is also convenient: almost all the Chinese banks offer the opportunity of working via mobile banking or internet banking, so customers can remotely manage their bank accounts from anywhere in the world.

However, many questions arise here: how to understand the Chinese banking system? How can you open a China bank account without speaking Chinese? Which bank to choose? Let's find out together.

Types of bank accounts in China

There currently are many options to set up a bank account in China. Many people ask whether it’s possible to open a bank account in China remotely. There is such an opportunity, but not for all companies.

To begin with, you need to determine why you need a Chinese bank account. Today, for example, not all the Chinese banks make transactions to Russia. In addition, the nature of your company's business and the existence of economic ties with China or Hong Kong may be a determining factor for opening a Chinese bank account.

Even a foreign company – Turkish, Serbian, European, etc. – can open a China bank account today. To do this, it is necessary to fill in an application form, submit the documents to the bank for consideration and go through the KYC (Know Your Client) procedure. It is possible for an offshore company to remotely open a bank account in commercial banks in China.

It is also possible to open an NRA (Non-Resident Account) account for a Hong Kong company. In this case we can offer you support in both company incorporation in Hong Kong and help you to open an account in China for your Hong Kong company. The account opening procedure in this case will take up to 1.5 months.

The largest variety of bank options will be for a Chinese company. Foreign citizens can incorporate a company in mainland China and then open a bank account at any of the Chinese banks for transactions. Here we can offer options for both commercial and state-owned banks – Bank of China, HSBC, ICBC, ABC Bank, China Merchant’s Bank, Zhejiang Chouzhou Commercial Bank etc.

To open a multi-currency account for international transactions in a bank in China for a Chinese company, you must first open a basic RMB account. Even if you plan to accept and send international payments in RMB, you must remember that China has so-called domestic and offshore RMB: i.e. RMB for domestic payments and RMB for international payments. Therefore, a basic RMB account for a Chinese company is a prerequisite for operation.

What is the procedure for opening a Chinese bank account?

In order to open a bank account in China for a legal entity, we first ask you to fill out a questionnaire with basic information about your company. This is to determine the appropriate options for opening an account.

After that, you need to collect a set of documents and submit them to us for KYC procedure. After that, depending on the bank selected, we will either finalise the account opening procedure and issue all online banking access remotely or ask you to come for a personal interview at the bank.

Contact TURK ADVISER and we will find an option of opening an individual, working bank account in China for you!