Normally, online-ticket-purchase is not available for foreigners as they do not own a Chinese ID card. Kind of annoying really, isn’t it? Here’s the good news: passengers now are able to travel the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway without buying tickets in advance, and it also works for foreigners!
An Alipay mini-program named “Guangshen cheng ji sao ma tong” (广深城际扫码通) is the secret key to such convenience. Passengers need to open Alipay and present their QR code from the mini-program for scanning, allowing them to pass through the electronic gate in the station via face recognition. After that, the system will automatically search for the next available train and book a second-class seat for you, while deducting the cost from your funds. The seat information is then handily sent to your phone for your convenience. To upgrade your seat, please head to a trainman after boarding the train.
GZ Railway has seven stations among Guangzhou and Shenzhen, passing through Dongguan. Generally, a second-class seat is 79.5 RMB. If a passenger exits the train in Dongguan, 34 RMB will be refunded to their account.
To be noted: Foreigners who wish to use this function need to first complete the identification process, by taking their passport to a customer service window in the station. Following this they can use the program as usual.