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Obligatory registration of foreigners

Registration at the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) is compulsory for foreigners in China since July 1st 2008

Violators and those who fail to register, be they individuals and/or building management, will be subject to fines. 

Guests staying in hotels and serviced apartments

Guests must be registered upon arrival with the PSB by the hotel or the serviced apartment management company. Usually this procedure is automatic, with no additional action required from the guest. However, it does mean that foreigners wishing to stay at a hotel in China must provide full passport and visa credentials in order to check in.

Expatriate employees living in private apartments

The apartment management company should ask their tenants to register with the local PSB. If not, both the management company and the foreigner can be (severely) fined. Registration with the competent police bureau is obligatory within 24 hours upon arrival in China.