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China - Premium SMS, Short Code Requirements


The regulations in China caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that include Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate Services and Short Codes.




The "People's Republic of China Telecommunications Regulations" 

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the Government of the People/s Republic of China, established in March 2008, is the estate agency of the People's Republic of China responsible for regulation and development of the postal service, Internet, wireless, broadcasting, communications, production of electronic and information goods, software industry and the promotion of the national knowledge economy. 




There are 2 carriers in China offering short codes, China Mobile and China Unicom.


china-mobile.jpg  China Mobile

China Mobile Communications Corporation is a Chinese state owned telecommunication company that provides mobile voice and multimedia services through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network. The company is one of the largest mobile telecommunications companies by market capitalization today, and it was named as such in March 2011. China Mobile Limited is listed on both the NYSE and the Hong Kong stock exchange. 



china-unicom-logo.jpg  China Unicom

China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd or China Unicom is a Chinese state-owend telecommunications operator in the People's Republic of China. Compared to other mobile providers China Unicom is ranked as the world's third-biggest mobile provider. On January 7, 2009, China Unicom was awarded WCDMA license to expand its business to 3G telecommunication. 



Market Statistics


China continues to build a substantial world-class telecommunications infrastructure. This report provides details on China’s national and international telecom infrastructure including internet resources, the development of smart grids and cloud computing. The television industry is explored with detailed statistics provided across the different delivery systems. 



Approval Process 

As part of the application process for a Chinese short code you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF), and also complete the Service Flow China Form to give a visual representation of your service. 


A new regulation was introduced to limit keywords on 5-Feb-2010. Content providers have to register keywords on each shortcode. Keywords are also assigned by operators and always start with a number, e.g. 840. Most content providers/aggregators in the market today have an average of 10-20 non-extensible keywords out of which a few selected content providers/aggregators have 1-2 extensible keywords.


Below are examples of extensible and non-extensible keywords: 

Non-extensible keyword

e.g. 840INFOS. User has to send keyword "840INFOS" in the SMS MO. If user sends keyword "840INFOS 1234" in the SMS MO, operator will reject the SMS MO.

Extensible keyword

e.g. 840INFOS. User can send keyword "840INFOS 1234" or "840INFOS" or "840INFOS abcde" in the SMS MO.


We have success in obtaining clients Extensible keywords, however it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain these. 


Billing Types

We operate both "One In One Out" (IO) and Mobile Terminated (MT) dedicated lines on both carriers in China. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.


Code of Practice

You can find further regulatory information about China via A non verified English translation is attached at the bottom of this page.


Service Types 

Most service types are allowed with an approval (see full guidelines below). Adult services are strictly not allowed and there are punishments if you are found in breach. Non-allowed service types include:

• Descriptions of sexual or erotic matters

• Contact and dating services with a view to sexual activities or other related elements

• References to other services or numbers with sexual or erotic content

• Descriptions of violence

• Access codes, passwords or similar elements providing access to services with the above content.

For premium messages, prices are discrete values. Each discrete value is
mapped to a tariff class that identifies a price including currency. There is no VAT
in China. The tariff class is given as the price, e.g. RMB100 for $1.00 or
RMB1000 for $10.00.


- Maximum MO character support for ASCII is 155, and mixture Chinese and ASCII character is 70.


Short code and Keyword Structure 

Premium short codes start with "1066xxxx" and zero rated short codes start with "1065xxxx". 

Short codes are applied for with the China operators. The short code "format" are assigned by operators and cannot be chosen by content providers directly, e.g. you cannot request "golden" short codes.



The current rate of tax is available via The outpayments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown. 


Dedicated Codes 

Dedicated codes are available with a 3 month lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on the price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in China via the txtNation Gateway.

China has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations.

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in China include:

  • HLR Lookup
  • Bulk SMS

Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in China of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in China. Please contact your account manager for more information.

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