Paperless train tickets will be implemented nationwide next year, said Lu Dongfu, general manager of the China Railway Corporation (CRC), at a recent Forum on Intelligent High Speed Rail Development.
Pilot sites have been established along the Hainan Ring High-Speed Railway since November 22.
Instead of printing paper tickets to check in, passengers can scan valid identification credentials such as an ID card to board the trains.
Valid ID cards include foreign permanent residence permits, residence permits for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents, and Mainland Travel Permits for Hong Kong and Macao Residents.
In addition, the bar code of the ticket order on a mobile phone can be used to check in if an ID credential is unrecognizable by the machine.
Ticket windows will also be open for passengers with unrecognizable IDs.
Facial recognition technology has also been adopted for passengers.
The service is already online in many cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Wuhan.
A notification will be sent after the ticket has been ordered to ask whether an invoice for reimbursement is needed or not.
The invoice should be printed and sent within 30 days of the purchase.