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Getting Identity-Certified on Alipay

This guide is for individuals who need to receive money through Taobao. If you only buy, Taobao does not require identity certification.

Why Get Certified?

The short answer, is that if you ever need to receive money for any reason (that includes refunds) Taobao will want to know who you are. That should come as good news to anybody buying anything, as it adds some security to the process, but is a bit of a pain for those who actually need to get certified. You will need a Chinese bank account and a good Chinese friend to get certified!

Let’s take a full inventory of what you will need:

  • You will need a very good Chinese friend to vouch for you
  • Your China bank account info
  • The ability to check your bank account activity
  • A scan of your passport
  • You will need to be able to print something out, sign it and scan it back in to the computer
  • Patience and perseverance

It sucks! But if you take it step by step, you will get through it. If you have any dilemmas, keep the Alipay service hotline handy: 0571-88156688.

The Letter

You will need to fill out the following letter, print, sign and scan it.  Copy/paste it into word and replace my prompts with your info. (By now you should probably have a Chinese friend helping.)


担保人:Your Chinese Friend’s Name

住址:Your Chinese Friend’s Address

联系电话:Your Chinese Friend’s Phone Number

被担保人:Your Name (as it appears on your passport)

中国境内住址:Your China Address

联系电话:Your Phone Number


担保人签名(手写):Your Chinese Friend’s Signature

年 月 日 The Date

You will need to enter the same info into a webform later, so you may find it helpful to keep the file.

Starting the Alipay Certification Process

When you have the letter ready, click here to go to the beginning of the certification process. Then click the following buttons to push it along.

certification process2

certification process3

certification process1

certification process 1 point 5

certification process 1 point 5 oh

Type your name in the order it appears on your passport, which may be last name first.

certification process5

Next Step: The Long Form

You have that letter, right? Good. We are about to upload it. You will need to type in all that info again, plus a little bit more.

certification process long form

Take a breath. And now the rest of the form…

certification process long form second half

Your application has been submitted


Are we done?

Not quite. Alipay will want to verify your bank info. To do that, they will make a tiny deposit into your account in the next 1-3 days. You will need to check on that and report back. When you know the amount, click here to go to your Alipay account. Find the link that says 申请认证 which will either be here:


Or here:


Now click on the yellow button:


And now enter in that amount that was deposited into your bank account.


When you get this popup box, click the one on the left:


It will think for a moment…


Oh sweet lord what a relief!


You are done!

Do you want to laugh? Cry? I want to do both.


  • John Coronel said:

    they have renwed the identify certifying procedure. please put up a guide on that if u can. thankx

  • lao said:

    is there any updated guide to be found anywhere ?

  • GHM said:

    It’s not as complicated anymore as above described! No need for a Chinese friend to vouch for you. All you need is your Chinese cell phone number, your Chinese bank details, your address in China, color (!) scan of your passport and proof of entry (e.g. visa, residency permit – I had to redo it because I didn’t read the small print carefully and used a black and white copy…). They will still deposit a small amount into your account to check its validity. A text message will be sent to your cell phone telling you to go and check on the amount and the go back to the zhifubao page and fill the amount in. At any point in the procedure, you can go back and check on its status by clicking on the 实名认证 tab on your zhifubao page. If you encounter any problems, there is a live help chat on the right hand side on the page and the people there are really nice and helpful (although I don’t think they could assist you in English…). The whole process was pretty straight forward and speedy – my only problem was that my first try was refused as “name not matching passport” because my surname contains some non-English characters they had never seen before. But an online-chat sorted that out.

  • IC said:

    I just did this and can confirm you don’t need a Chinese friend to vouch for you anymore. The one interesting thing to note is that when you open an account as a foreigner, it will ask you to select Japanese, Korean, or Singaporean. If you’re not one of the above, you can pick anything, and just follow the steps. Once my account was certified, I can also link my Chinese bank account to it, making refilling much easier and faster. Online chat (plus google translate) was super helpful.

  • Damon said:

    Can I ask if I am not in China and would like to register to sell on Taobao, is there any other ways of verification? It seems to be asking for proof of entry to China as part of the step.

  • Wojtek said:

    I would like to ask the same question… I want to register and sell things on TAOBAO , but im a polish citizen, is it possible to do it if I never been in China and I dont have chineese bank account?

  • may said:

    link for foreign certification. or you can simply look up 外籍会员实名认证 on your alipay search engine.

  • Tbaobao said:

    If you just wanted to get your money back from your Alipay account and it isn’t a large sum of money it would probably be easier to just transfer that money to a good Chinese friends account and just have him give you the cash.

  • ilja Khanan said:



    Anyone who what to do for changing the phone number on Alipay and Taobao.

    Also, after I login they require me to fill out a form with Name in Chinese and ID number. I dont have a chinese name and neither a Chinese passport.


  • jces said:

    i just send money to my girlfriend alipay account, but alipay asking her like “Get Certified” alipay asking a copy of the front page passport and entry stamp.this case was in china april 13, 2016 (4:00pm) she put all the alipay request and it’s sad because till now still pending and no response no action…my question is how to get the money back? and what we gonna do to fix this issue? somebody help!!!

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