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eChannel

Old Sep 21, 23, 9:27 am
  #1  
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eChannel

(Starting a separate thread for eChannel. I think it's deserved.)

PEK
(September 21, 2023)

They changed everything....
I came in from the right and there are NO eChannels. All gone.
Every immigration station is new. Foreigners are to the right, where eChannels used to be.
Started filling out the arrival card, as I thought eChannels were removed, until I saw the eChannels are now to the LEFT of the whole thing.
eChannel worked flawlessly, and was fast in recognizing passport, face and thumbprint.

They also added many more normal stations in the same location, and also in the area that used to be open, past the main immigration location, and before the escalators down to the train.
Have a feeling they are either:
1) expecting a large influx in arriving passengers, or
2) going to be taking longer for each passenger, so needing more stations

Note:
on exiting China, I sure hope they will get rid of the horrendous security scanning location before the train in the main terminal. That's the worst part of the PEK experience nowadays.

TL;DR
At PEK, the eChannels have moved from the right side to the left side of immigration
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Last edited by narvik; Sep 21, 23 at 10:26 am Reason: tl;dr
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Old Sep 28, 23, 8:54 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Originally Posted by narvik
(Starting a separate thread for eChannel. I think it's deserved.)

PEK
(September 21, 2023)

They changed everything....
I came in from the right and there are NO eChannels. All gone.
Every immigration station is new. Foreigners are to the right, where eChannels used to be.
Started filling out the arrival card, as I thought eChannels were removed, until I saw the eChannels are now to the LEFT of the whole thing.
eChannel worked flawlessly, and was fast in recognizing passport, face and thumbprint.

They also added many more normal stations in the same location, and also in the area that used to be open, past the main immigration location, and before the escalators down to the train.
Have a feeling they are either:
1) expecting a large influx in arriving passengers, or
2) going to be taking longer for each passenger, so needing more stations

Note:
on exiting China, I sure hope they will get rid of the horrendous security scanning location before the train in the main terminal. That's the worst part of the PEK experience nowadays.

TL;DR
At PEK, the eChannels have moved from the right side to the left side of immigration
I finally realized I can apply for eChannel, so booked a longer layover at CAN on way back from Vietnam to China. No desk there to apply. Asked someone and they said can only do at some office in Pazhou (by the convention center).

Would be nice if this thread can be used for all aspects of eChannel. Coming from Hong Kong to Shenzhen at Huanggang a couple weeks ago, and I was number 6 in the foreigner line.

35 minutes. They looked over passports with a loupe, felt each page, etc. Couldn't believe it. And it was midnight (which was why I couldn't take a minivan to Shenzhen Bay instead).

CAN yesterday was a little slow per person, but nothing like Huanggang or my last entry to Pudong.
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Old Sep 29, 23, 4:00 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by mcjava
They looked over passports with a loupe, felt each page, etc. Couldn't believe it.
I've had that treatment so often, combined with my own less than careful handling of the passport, the second page is becoming ripped now.
I am 5 years into the 10 validity, and I suspect it won't make it until it expires.

When they go over the passport so carefully, they really beat the thing up; I cringe when I see them inspect the pages the way they do, and tear at the pages while turning them over.
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Old Sep 29, 23, 7:57 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: PVG
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I've had e-channel for a long time. With my newest residence permit (first one post-pandemic), I renewed e-channel at SHA a few weeks ago. They didn't need to take my biometrics or anything, as they could see I was already in the system. All they needed to do was update my visa (residence permit) info in the system with new visa number and expiration date, and I was good to go. I've already used it a few times afterwards with no issues (all at SHA).
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Old Oct 1, 23, 9:00 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Thanks for posting this thread. I used e-channel for many years pre-pandemic, it was a lifesaver. Interesting to hear how things are now - planning to return soon and hope to get e-channel re-set up ASAP.
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Old Oct 2, 23, 7:24 pm
  #6  
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My peeve is when immigration or hotel clerks break the spine of the passport by bending the covers all the way back. I want to scream, "It has to last ten years!"
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Old Oct 2, 23, 7:30 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by 889
My peeve is when immigration or hotel clerks break the spine of the passport by bending the covers all the way back. I want to scream, "It has to last ten years!"
Yep. Mine isn't going to make it. I just bought a Passport holder off JD, but I'm afraid it won't help much, as the most damage it gets is when they bend it back, and flipe the pages while tearing at them.
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Old Oct 5, 23, 12:29 am
  #8  
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eChannel working well on PEK exit.

(Security has an alternative location now before the train; they move some pax downstairs through a maze, but nice they realized they needed to add more stations.)
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Old Oct 10, 23, 2:20 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Update from a recent trip out of and back into Beijing Daxing (PKX) airport ... Short version - abject failure ...!

Exiting at Daxing: No boarding pass scan needed (good) but the e-gate scanner failed to read my passport so had to use a manual lane.
Entry at Daxing: Scanner read the passport, but gave a "no registered fingerprints" message, so had to use a manual lane.

My wife (Chinese) was with me so convinced them to try and fix the fingerprint issue - I ended up re-registering for e-channel (at desk #24), but for some reason the system would not let them enter my fingerprints (only photo and thumbprint) - so likely to have the same problem next trip

I think the failure to read the passport is linked to the new UK passport design (similar to newly-issued passports in many countries now) where the chip is no longer in the passport cover, but is now embedded in a thick polycarbonate photo/details 'page'. Seems that higher RFID power is needed to power up the chip (even when I re-registered their machine could not read the chip and they had to enter all details manually ...).
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Old Oct 10, 23, 2:44 am
  #10  
 
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I can add another exit/entry success story. Had no problem using echannel at HGH for both exit and entry. Since theyve reopened echannel Ive been successful now at PVG, SHA, PEK, HGH and Kowloon West Station.

Its a real help as with the amount of travel Im doing this year Id need a new passport soon if not for echannel!
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Old Oct 10, 23, 2:51 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS
I can add another exit/entry success story. Had no problem using echannel at HGH for both exit and entry. Since theyve reopened echannel Ive been successful now at PVG, SHA, PEK, HGH and Kowloon West Station.

Its a real help as with the amount of travel Im doing this year Id need a new passport soon if not for echannel!
Now you are just rubbing salt in my e-channel wounds ...!!
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Old Oct 10, 23, 12:05 pm
  #12  
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Not sure when you had registered the first time, but the system will need you to manually enter 1 time after registration I believe.

Originally Posted by GinFizz
I ended up re-registering for e-channel (at desk #24), but for some reason the system would not let them enter my fingerprints (only photo and thumbprint) - so likely to have the same problem next trip
.
The eChannels I used only require a thumbprint for the 'door' to open.
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Old Oct 10, 23, 7:49 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by GinFizz

I think the failure to read the passport is linked to the new UK passport design (similar to newly-issued passports in many countries now) where the chip is no longer in the passport cover, but is now embedded in a thick polycarbonate photo/details 'page'. Seems that higher RFID power is needed to power up the chip (even when I re-registered their machine could not read the chip and they had to enter all details manually ...).
I thought those entry gates operated by optically reading your passport info page.
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Old Oct 11, 23, 10:36 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by YariGuy
I thought those entry gates operated by optically reading your passport info page.
I thought so too - but my wife waltzed through the e-gates both leaving and arriving back in to China just by placing her closed passport (cover down) on the "reader".

Possible though that it does both (in case of failure to read the chip - clearly the chip is still required in some way though as having that is a pre-requisite to be able to register for the e-channel).
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Old Oct 11, 23, 10:51 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by narvik
Not sure when you had registered the first time, but the system will need you to manually enter 1 time after registration I believe.
I think you are right here. When I re-registered in June they also told me that I should take my fingerprints again the first time I arrived back in China before the e-gates would work. I stupidly assumed this meant that I needed to use to the pre-immigration area passport scanners before trying the e-gates, which I did - and the system collected my fingerprints (but didn't ask for photo or thumbprints - I assume as these were already in the system). More likely it seems now that they actually meant one more manual entry, with fingerprint collection at the booth.

The re-re-registration procedure has in all likelihood reset the count now, so I'll have to do this all again next time I return after a trip in November!! I am moderately confident it should work after that, though more concerned about the complete failure to even read the RFID chip (on exit at Daxing), as that it is an issue that can only be fixed by upgrading the scanners - assuming that it is because the chip is buried deeper inside the polycarbonate data page compared to one in the cover (if you haven't seen one of these new-style passports you may be surprised at how thick that polycarbonate data page is ...).

Originally Posted by narvik
The eChannels I used only require a thumbprint for the 'door' to open.
Yes, that is also my recollection - but the error message that came up was definitely "no fingerprints" - so those need to be in the system at least (possibly as a back-up in case of thumb-print failure?)
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