Here's How to Ride the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Express Rail Using Alipay

By That's PRD, January 29, 2019

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You can practically do anything on Alipay: transfer money, pay your electricity bill, buy plane tickets, register your dogs and now catch a train between Guangzhou and Shenzhen. 

Posters with an Alipay QR code and text that states “Scan with your phone to go through the turnstiles” were spotted on January 9 in front of the turnstiles outside of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Express Rail waiting area at Guangzhou East Railway Station. 

According to a report by XKB, it takes only three to five seconds for passengers to successfully pass the turnstiles after an ID verification using Alipay, which is an easy three-step process, as illustrated below. 

1. Search for ‘广深城际扫码通’ on Alipay and tap ‘立即开通,’ or ‘Start service immediately’ in English

Screengrab via Alipay

2. Agree to the terms and conditions and tap ‘Start verification’

Screengrab via Alipay

3. Place your face in the circle that appears on your phone screen and blink your eyes once 

Screengrab via Alipay

That’s it, it’s that easy. If you want to use the function, go to Alipay’s home page, tap ‘Pay’ and face the QR code to the scanner on the turnstiles. 


According to staff at Guangzhou East Railway Station, passengers will be allotted second-class seats on the latest trains by default and a note with the assigned train and seat number will be printed by the turnstiles when payment (RMB79.5) is successfully made. 

If passengers get off the train at stations before Shenzhen, they will be refunded the price difference accordingly when scanning at the turnstiles to exit. 

We should also point out that if one uses his or her passport or mainland travel permit for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to verify their identity during the abovementioned process, they must also have their documents scanned at the turnstile after using Alipay to buy their tickets. 

Haven’t started using the all-powerful Alipay app yet? Here’s a guide on how to set it up on your phone. And, for more helpful guides to living in China, click here.

READ MORE: Is China Ready for a Cashless Future? 

[Cover image via Alipay, Wikimedia Commons

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