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After entering Mainland China with the transit-without-visa (TWOV) program, does one have to register with the local police station?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Visa_policy_of_China&oldid=879079865:

When staying in a hotel, the registration is usually done as a part of the check-in process. When staying in a private home, however, the visitor must physically report to the local PSB within 24 hours of arrival for cities or 72 hours for rural areas.

However, when I called the police station, the agent said it wasn’t necessary to register if I don’t stay beyond the 144 hour limit. But I don't want to be in the case where some agent at police station tells me it's not necessary to register, while it turns out to be the case I should, in which case I would risk getting fined and banned from using visa-free transits in Mainland China for 2 years.

Is there any official rule on whether one has to register with the local police station after entering Mainland China with the transit-without-visa (TWOV) program?

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    Anecdotal case 1: only had a few hours on TWOV during daytime. Contacted my embassy and they confirmed no registration was necessary. Contact yours to get good advice. No trouble on exit and re-entered later on, again on TWOV -> Case 2: stayed for about 60 hours on TWOV and booked a cheap hostel bed just to get registration done while actually staying with friends. Could be a solution for you. – mts Feb 4 at 22:14
  • @mts Thanks for sharing your experience. Did you ask your embassy whether staying for about 60 hours on TWOV requires to register with the local police station? – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 4 at 22:18

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