Demand for China virtual phone numbers has grown substantially in recent years. However many businesses have gotten frustrated while trying to find a reliable phone number to use in China. Since there are so many amazing opportunities in China, businesses want to continue their presence and therefore a reliable service needs to be available. At Global Call Forwarding we are working hard to solve these issues.
Before problems can be solved, you must first know the types of China virtual phone numbers available. There are three types of Chinese phone numbers that businesses can choose from:
Toll-Free (800) China Numbers
800 Numbers in China have several limitations. This guide will explain their limitations and common problems in more detail.
Local China Numbers
Local China numbers are also known as direct inward dialing numbers. They are virtual phone numbers with local area codes and they can be used to make international calls within those local areas. Because the phones use local area codes, the callers are only charged local calling rates.
China 400 Numbers
China 400 numbers work similarly to 800 numbers. They are not exactly toll free as callers have to pay local rates to talk. However, the cost of calling is usually included in the price people pay for their phone service so these numbers are referred to as toll free numbers in China.
Now that we know the different types of Chinese phone numbers, what are the common problems with Chinese virtual phone numbers?
- Mobile access
- Setup times
- VoIP regulations
- Number porting
- Number availability and limitations
So how do we solve these problems?
1. Mobile Access
Toll free numbers in China are not accessible for mobile phones. If a business has purchased an 800 number for their company, they will only be able to reach landlines which frustrates many businesses. Secondly, there are two 800 numbers in China; one for southern China and one for Northern China. Which means, if you are looking to reach all of China, you must purchase two toll free phone numbers. Because of the lack of mobile access for 800 numbers, 400 numbers exist. These can reach mobile phone users and there is no difference between north and south China. The only difference is that customers must pay a local cost.
2. Setup Times
China requires that you have documentation of your business or passport before getting virtual phone numbers. While you do not need a physical address in China to get a local phone number, the wait for approval on these documents can take a long time. In order to bypass these wait times, you need to choose a provider with a good relationship with Chinese providers.
3. VoIP Regulations
In China, several VoIP services have been banned. Only certain VoIP providers are allowed to operate in the country. These providers are usually allowed only when China owns a majority of the company. Therefore, adding new VoIP providers becomes very difficult and competition becomes almost impossible. Despite these advantages, Chinese VoIP providers have seen an improvement in the country’s willingness to partner with outside countries. The easiest place to gain a phone number is in Beijing, but outside of the country’s capital, it is still a struggle. The 400 numbers have the most common services available from VoIP providers. With 400 numbers, there is better consistency in call quality. As more businesses take their businesses to China, the service will continue to improve.
4. Number Porting
Number porting is not as advanced in China as you may find in other countries. Changing service providers in China will mean a few extra steps, involving canceling your number and buying a new phone number from your new provider. This issue has not been fixed, but if you choose a reputable VoIP provider that allows you to test their service before signing a long-term contract, you won’t waste any money on advertising a new number.
5. Number Availability and limitations
Local numbers are difficult to set up in China due to their many restrictions. As China’s economy grows and more businesses choose to expand their global reach, the difficulty has lessened. However, complaints about call quality are common. Many providers only provide access to Beijing or Shanghai. At Global Call Forwarding, we offer local numbers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tongchuan, and Hong Kong, with a reliable connection.
The future of China and the VoIP industry shows promise for growth. Although it is difficult at the present time, VoIP providers and China have been working hard to establish better connections and they continue to get better.