Article by Edward LAM

Nowadays, these are the meaning of the background colors : 
- Black : Tax free car when imported in mainland China(for the first owner). For instance, cars owned by someone living outside mainland, consulates, ..
- Blue : Passenger car or Van 
Yellow : Vehicles that are not a car or a van (motorcycle, 
- White : Non standard plates (army, military police, vehicles temporarily in China)

Standard plates have an Idiogram for the Province, then a Letter for the City or Region (02 for Hong-Kong and Macau) and the serial number. Macau and Hong-Kong Vehicles allowed to cross the border have white on black plates (limited to the Guandong province) or red on black plates (authorized anywhere in China). A few trucks in Hong-Kong have a white on red plate (unknown meaning). Red and white on black are consulate vehicles.

Non Standard plates : 
- Army : 1 red idiogram and 6 serial numbers on white - Military Police : white plate beginning with red WJ 
- Police : white plate ending with a red idiogram 
- Temporary registrations: 4 black idiograms over 5 black numbers.