The Secret behind the number plates in China


Being a traffic policeman in Beijing is not easy — because you have to know a lot of underlying rules. In the heartland of this country, behind a number plate there may be a dignitary. Being a traffic policeman, you should be smart enough to detect these “powerful” vehicles, and give them space…

The “powerful plates” look the same as normal plates. However, all the secrets are hiding behind the numbers.

Before we start, let’s introduce the format of the number plates in Beijing. A Beijing license plate is composed of a Chinese character “京”, which is the abbreviation of Beijing, an English letter and a series of numbers (or letters and numbers). For example: “京F 31313” or “京A F2345”.”


The most powerful — “京AG6”

There are exactly 200 license plates that start with “京A G6”. This number group belongs to the Vice Chairmen of the National People’s Congress, the vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and so on. Normally you can only find these kind of plates on Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which are widely used by the Chinese government as official cars.

The secundi — “京A8”

It is second only to “京AG6”. The most powerful ones among them are “京A80***,” “京A 81***”, and “京A 82***”, which belong to General Office of the CPC Central Committee, Bureau of Institutional Affairs of the State Council, Central Guard Bureau and Beijing Municipal Party Committee. Some ministers and the family members of national leaders also use this number series, and it makes this series of numbers more “powerful”. Recently, since the shortage of numbers, “京A83***” was also taken in to this “powerful number group”.

It is also worth mentioning that, because Chinese people love the number 8 (it sounds like “Fa”, meaning earning big money), the person who can get “京A88” is either powerful or has “strong connections” with powerful people. So for traffic policemen, it means the same as “京A80, 81, 82, and 83”.

There is another series of numbers, “京O A7***”, which belongs to some ministers; and “京O A8***”, which belongs to The Ministry of Public Security. They are both “powerful” as well.

The third level
License plates starting with “京ET, 京EX, 京H95, 京FP”, and some starting with “京CZ”, belong to deputy ministry level officials or provincial rank officials. And some of “京A5” belong to the Communist Party Committee of Beijing.

Generally, the traffic policemen and experienced drivers know these rules. They will always try to make life easier for these “powerful vehicles” and make them happy by politely keeping their distance.

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3 thoughts on “The Secret behind the number plates in China”

  1. Pingback: 北京车牌里的学问 - Lexiophiles

  2. can you tell me if the products that turn over the number plate to reveal a second ‘fake’ one are widely used? I have been trying to buy them for use in england for some weeks now. They seem really expensive costing upward of 1000 cyn, some as much as $300 is that right? why are they so expensive?

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