You can now track your recent travel history in China through SMS

Need an alibi for staying in town?

Photo: @chuttersnap/

With much still under lockdown, attempts to leave the house is a struggle that most of us are all too familiar with by now. No one is spared in temperature checks, ID registrations, or QR code scans that apparently many neighborhoods in Beijing have implemented. With omnipresent safety measures and travel restrictions, it can be a nuisance for those who've cautiously returned to work after a long break, or for expats with limited proficiency in Chinese.

To ease the woes of reporting travel history to local authorities amid the COVID-19 outbreak, three of China's main telecom carriers – China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom – have rolled out a SMS service which will let mobile users see their travel itinerary in the past 30 days (sidenote: this is only applicable for domestic travels).

While introduced supposedly as a tool to help verify anyone who've had travel history to Hubei Province, or those who had just returned to Beijing and completed their 14-day quarantine, it's free and hence worth keeping under your radar. Especially if you need to assure any discerning security guards in your compound, or hotel receptionists when checking into bookings in town.

So, here's how to see where you've been in the past month through text messages:

1) China Mobile users: Text CXMYD to 10086

China Telecom users: Text CXMYD to 10001

China Unicom users: Text CXMYD to 10010

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2) You'll receive a new text in Chinese asking for your ID for verification. Reply by texting back the last four digits of your ID that's registered under your SIM card.

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3) And voila. There you have it. You'll receive a list of places you've been in the last 15 days, and the last 30 days in the country.

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