China official railway ticketing website 12306 recently launched the English version enabling foreign passengers who can’t read Chinese to register their own accounts and buy train tickets.
According to the railway department, compared with the Chinese version, the English edition is more simplified in terms of functions. It provides functions such as registration, login, one-way ticket purchase, exchange, arrival, refund, and order inquiries. It should be noted that the English version currently only supports valid foreign passport registration. Foreign passengers cannot swipe their passports to enter the station but need to print and purchase them in advance. The ticket information sheet is verified through manual channels.
The English version of 12306 website supports multiple payment methods. In addition to the existing payment methods in the Chinese version (major banks, Alipay, WeChat, etc.), it also supports four major international cards: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, Diners. All related ticket transactions settled in RMB, and international card payments are completed through Bank of China.
In addition, when registering an account in the English version, passengers only need to fill in their email address and do not require a mobile phone number. This is design to facilitate short-term visiting foreigners who do not have a Chinese mobile phone number. At the same time, 12306 also supports English telephone customer service (+862112306).