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China Telephone System

Last updated by joyce at 2015/4/17

Being one of the largest countries in the world, china is a massive market player in the telecommunication market. China has a wide variety of communication facilities that connect people by the Internet, television, radio and telephone. Though the advent of cellular phones has outgrown the usage of traditional telephones, still many Chinese and immigrants to China prefer to make contact in this way.

China telephone system

Even though none of the telecommunication systems in China will ever compare to those found in progressive western countries, their present system provides up-to-date technology, which is continuously being developed with the aim of competing with the world's greatest telecommunication systems.

The lines of communication in China were founded in the 1950s. A few years after, the leading network for telecommunications was brought to Beijing and initiated the establishment of systems in other main cities in China. At that time, the work allotted to increase the popularity of this mode of communication tripled and efforts were encouraged to build, renovate and expand the services of these companies. All of this hard work and dedication paid off when telecommunications were at their peak and business operations were dominated by the use of telephones.

Not only telecommunications were improved; radio networks and television systems were also improved in order to compete with the growth of telephones. The progress of this mode of communication halted when a huge economic collapse was experienced in 1957. All other economic resources and functions were affected due to this. However, in the late 1960s, several networks united to revive the bankrupt system and from there a new set of policies and equipment were introduced for better operations. Imports of products and other apparatus from western nations were also presented.

With the recent developments, China has witnessed an incessant rise in the number of subscribers, and it is increasing each year. This growth can be attributed to the number of business establishments and professional work relayed to people in which the need for using the telephone seems inevitable. In the year 2004, statistics show that China had billions of sales and over 300 million subscribers. This includes multiple telephone units in every household and institutions requiring over 20 telephone lines and extensions.

However, this number of customers significantly declined about two years ago and this was chiefly due to the modern innovations in technology. From over 300 million people using telephones, it decreased by 828,000 in March 2012 making it about 284.3 million users. The Internet has truly overtaken the use of telephones and even cellular phones. More and more people, especially young adults opt to use computers or laptops instead of using conventional telephones. Analysts and business experts believe that this decrease in the number of customers will likely to continue and if not, will remain stable. A possible increase is unlikely to happen and again, this is linked to the advent of computers and the continuous development of the World Wide Web.

Like any other nation, China has a specific set of code plans used to identify calling areas. The Chinese Telephone Code Plan is the system used to organize and arrange the telephone numbers registered in Mainland China. Traditional phones or land line phones follow a definite set pattern using area codes which are designated to every territory or area in order to identify which specific location you are in. This is a great help in the process of identification since there is a tendency for different companies to have similar phone numbers across China, but thanks to area codes confusion between communication and interconnection is avoided.

An example of this is the area code "0" which is usually added at the beginning, before the telephone numbers. This should be used when dialing a long distance number, but which is still located in Mainland China. This is also known as a domestic call. Domestic telephone numbers typically consist of eight digits while other areas only have seven digits. Non-domestic calls do not have an area code of "0." Additionally, the phone numbers of the important departments like fire and police also comprise of at least three digits similar to that of other countries. Here are some important department numbers found in China:

•  110 Police Department
•  114 Directory
•  119 Fire Department
•  120 Ambulance
•  122 Traffic accident
•  12117 Time
•  12121 Weather

The regulating body that controls and maintains the operations of telephone communications in China is the Ministry of Information Technology or MII. It regulates and checks all of the standards of phone activity and connectivity in nearly all areas in China. Some of the big names in the telecommunication business in China are China Telecom and China Unicom.

Although there are a lot more ways in which to communicate with people, reaching them by telephone still continues and it is believed that it will remain active and present in society even with the progress of modern technology. Even though it is true that the use of ordinary telephones has declined, a telephone will continue to be considered one of the instruments that bridge the gap between people in different countries.

Recent developments

The world’s fourth largest manufacturer of mobile phones, ZTE Corp has launched a Windows Phone handset in China. ZTE is a huge player in China market by selling 19.5 million phones in Q1 of 2012.

Microsoft is in discussions with China Unicom, the world’s biggest WCDMA network operator in order to collectively promote Windows phone devices. In stark comparison there were about 550,000 applications received for Apple’s Inc’s iPhones and about 400,000 for Android handsets.