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Brian US

I try to open a bank account because I hate myself

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mungouk

Just to bump this one...

 

I opened an account with ICBC here in Beijing a few weeks back.  I had to take my passport with my newly-obtained residency permit in it, and I think we may have shown my employment contract as well (one of our HR team went along with me to help). 

 

Apart from sitting around waiting for my number to be called, the whole thing took about 10 minutes and I was given the ATM/bank card there and then, although due to some recent regulation I had to wait for about a week before I was able to deposit any cash because they have to run background checks or something.  (They said they would send me an SMS when it was approved but I got nothing, so we called after a week and they said "try it".  Huh.)

 

I paid money into the account at an ATM by withdrawing cash from an overseas card and depositing it in the same ATM.  I had to do the withdrawal in chunks of ¥2000 which seems to be a common limitation in Chinese ATMs?  I would have preferred to do the transfer online but my bank (DBS in Singapore) only allows online transfers to China if it goes to a Chinese citizen, and you have to provide their ID number.

 

Later this week I'll go to open another account at China Merchants Bank 招商银行 because this is the one my employer uses for payroll. HR called them today to check documents required, and apparently they want to see employment contract and work permit card as well as the passport. 

 


 

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Dawei3

I'm really glad this was posted.  A university I teach at when I go to China opened a bank account for me so they could pay by depositing to the account.  Fortunately, the university guided me through the process, so it wasn't painful.  The account has no fees, so I can leave a small balance without being charged.  From reading the above, I now know it's really valuable to keep it open.  谢谢!

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Brian US
On 6/17/2019 at 3:24 PM, mungouk said:

Apart from sitting around waiting for my number to be called, the whole thing took about 10 minutes

 

I was at the Bank of China for over an hour, with probably 45 minutes at the window constantly signing paperwork. I probably signed at least 10+ forms and left with a small binder worth of documents. They also helped me download their app, and register my online profile which was nice.

 

Luckily most people are using online banking since I remember many times stuck behind someone at an ATM as they checked all their business transactions. Literally saw two people take up two ATMs checking thousands of transactions from a stack of papers. Now I only need to use the ATM to withdraw cash from my US bank account.

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ChTTay

Don’t you just use your phone for pretty much everything these days? 

 

The last time i needed cash was also the last time I went to the bank. I needed cash to pay for gas. I walked into the bank 5 minutes before closing then realised I didn’t have any cash or cards 🤪

I asked if I could use my phone and they just chuckled and said no . In the end I had to run out to a restaurant and wechat them in exchange for some cashmoney. 

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker

Same here, the real value is linking it to alipay, we chat. 

I have used atms at times as I like to keep a few hundred in my wallet for things like petrol, toll booths, no signal, no battery etc. 

 

A guy I know here got his wechat  account permanently disabled by tencent. He says he doesn't know why but I have a suspicion he was up to no good . Couldn't access contacts nor use the payment system . A right hassle I can imagine. 

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mungouk

WeChat, Alipay etc have a single point of failure though... your phone.

 

If for some reason your 3G/4G stops working, or your battery is dead (etc) then you're suddenly kicked out into the pre-digital world.  Maybe this is why power banks are so popular.

 

Case in point: I couldn't get my phone to connect to the Internet at all last Friday morning, and I was trying to get to work by Didi. At first I thought it was a problem with the Didi website/webapp, but then Alipay was the same etc... so I ended up standing in the rain trying to hail a taxi in the street so I could get to work. Fortunately I had enough cash in my wallet to pay the driver.  (And fortunately I had my wallet!)

 

Turned out eventually (later that day) that ExpressVPN was the culprit... somehow the option for "connect on demand" was enabled and it was trying and failing to connect to a server constantly, which meant I had no connectivity.  

 

So, if I ever do downsize to just carrying a card-holder and my phone, I'll make sure I have a couple of emergency ¥50 notes in there just in case...

 

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ChTTay

Yep gotta have a power bank or at least a cable with you. Many restaurants will help you charge your phone if you want. Most didi drivers will also let you. 

 

As long as the app works, you can use didi even without any funds. Didi won’t know until they try to charge you and it won’t go through. You can just pay a bit later. You won’t be able to ride again until you pay though I think. You can also get in a car then lose phone power and it’s fine. 

 

I did downsize to cardholder and phone then just stopped carrying the cardholder as I never needed it. At least, not in my daily life. If I was going somewhere new or doing something not routine I’d likely take it again.

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889

I seem to recall that there's a kind of ginseng -- the rarest and most valuable kind of ginseng -- which will extend the life of a terminally-ill patient till relatives arrive from the most distant reaches.

 

I've often thought there would be a market for a similar life-extending battery: tiny and convenient as can be, cordless with a direct plug-in, giving you just 30 minutes or so of power when you suddenly and absolutely need it.

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889

Yes, that's the sort of thing I was imagining. But unfortunately, the Amazon reviews aren't encouraging, certainly not at that price:

 

"Work only for a week, then the battery started to turning off automatically."

 

"My phones won't recognize this as a charger for more than a few seconds, so it won't help you in a pinch there."

 

" I had to turn the on button on every 15-20 seconds to keep it charging."

 

"Bought in March, died in June. Not worth the money."

 

Technically speaking, it sounds like the thing doesn't have enough oomph.

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imron

I imagine reviews for the ginseng would probably be similar.

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