An Introduction of Chinese Citizen ID Card

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If you have business dealings with Chinese companies, their staff is likely to provide you with a scan or photo of their China ID Card, which is also known as the Resident Identity Card, is compulsory for all Chinese citizens and contains a lot of information about the holder. 

What is a Chinese Citizen ID Card?

The Chinese ID Card is a document issued by the Public Security Organ that all Mainland Chinese citizens must own to prove their identity. Most Chinese people carry it with them most of the time. It contains a unique 18-digit number, which will accompany the holder for his whole lifetime. And by knowing that series of numbers, you can get to know the holder's Date of Birth, Place of Birth, and Gender.

The official name of the China ID Card is displayed on the front of each card in large Chinese characters:

                     中华人民共和国 (People's Republic of China)
                     居民身份证 (Resident Identity Card)

The Chinese ID Card is the size of a regular credit card and is a standard design that contains important information on both sides. The following is a sample of the front and back of the China ID Card. The back of the China ID Card usually contains a color photo of the individual on the right-hand side:



The front of the China ID Card contains the following information:


  • Issuing Authority (签发机关) - this gives the location of the public security bureau which issued the card
  • Period of Validity (有效期限) - the period given depends on the age of the individual, citizens over 46 years are given a "long-term" card with no expiry date

And the back of the China ID Card contains the following information:


  • Name (姓名) - in China the surname is written first & the vast majority of Chinese citizens have a single character surname
  • Gender (性别) - must be male (男) or female (女)
  • Ethnicity (民族) - China recognizes 56 different ethnic groups, with Han (汉) being by far the most common at over 90%
  • Date of Birth (出生) - written in form Year (年) Month (月) Day (日)
  • Address (住址) - although many Chinese citizens move away from home for work, this address usually refers to their "hometown address"
  • Citizen Identity Number (公民身份号码) - which consists of a unique18-digit numbers as we have introduced above

Here's a breakdown of how the numbers is created:


Address Code
The first 2 digits of the Citizen Identity Number represents the province, the next 2 digits represents the city and the final 2 digits represents the district or county.

Date of Birth Code
The date of birth code consists of 8 digits, which represent the year, month, and day in turn.

Order Code
Interestingly, this 3 digits code reveals the gender of the holder, since odd numbers are issued to males and even numbers to females. No other discernable information was revealed.

This digit is simply a check if the Citizen Identity Number is valid.
This website claims to generate valid China ID Card numbers and can also be used to identify all of the address codes.



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