How to Call Long Distance to China

by Marcello Viridis

Whether from a land-line, mobile phone or over the Internet, calling China can be hassle-free by following a few easy steps.

If you are calling from a mobile or fixed-line phone, dial the international access code (if any) of the country you are in. For the United States, the access code is 011.

Dial the country code for China. The country code for China is 86, but for Hong Kong it's 852, and for Macau it's 853.

Dial the city or county prefix (which is similar to the area code used in the United States). For example, the city code for Shanghai is 21 while the provincial code for Liaoning Province is 411.

Dial the actual phone number.


  • check An example of a call to Shanghai from the United States would be: 011-86-21-38887867.
  • check Depending on your provider, if you are using the Internet to make the call, there is no need to dial an international access number (Step 1 above).
  • check China is 12 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast during daylight savings time and 11 hours ahead during the rest of the year.
  • check If you are having difficulty connecting, contact your international operator for assistance.


About the Author

Marcello Viridis has been "working in writing" for the past six years. Since publishing his first article in 2004, he has written on a range topics from working and living overseas for the Wall Street Journal's Black Collegian website to legal essays for the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Viridis has a B.A. from Pomona College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Made in China image by Guido Cognoli from