If you are working at IHEP, you will need to open a bank account for payment of your salary, at the local ICBC (Industrial & Commercial Bank of China). If you are not employed by IHEP, but are here for a long stay, or make frequent trips, opening a bank account may also be worthwhile.

Opening an account is fairly straightforward. You will need your passport, and probably some photocopies of the information page. Bring a Chinese friend to help you, as many bank staff have only limited English. At the bank information counter, explain that you want to open an account. Fill in the form they give you (or ask your friend to help you). Be very careful in how you write your name, and that it matches your passport. For future transactions, if the name doesn’t match the account name exactly, the transaction will be refused.

If you would like internet or mobile banking, ask at the same time as you fill in the forms. The bank staff will then set up your account. You need minimum CNY 10 deposit. There may be a CNY 15 charge for the bank card. You will be asked to set a 6-digit PIN for the card, and for the internet banking. For internet banking, you will probably also be issued with a USB key, which also has its own 6-digit PIN. Internet banking will require downloading some software to your computer, and may only work with the most common browsers. The USB key is needed for online transfers and for internet purchases over a certain limit.