So you’ve got the hang of shopping for stuff on the Chinese auction site Taobao, but you’re sick of dealing with brokers? Open a bank account in China to pay the seller and shipper directly.
Bank accounts are easy to open. Take a passport and an initial 100rmb deposit to any branch of any bank in China. Accounts are free and they give you a temporary card on the spot. My actual card, sans number, shown above.
Bank of China is really common so we went with them. Check out the online offerings first because you’ll need to be able to navigate it somehow unless you read Chinese. I haven’t used it except to deposit excess RMB at an ATM, but we’ll have tutorials and updates as we learn to navigate.
Hint: “open account” does not translate into Chinese. Try running “new bank account” through Google translate instead.