If you wanted to get places earlier — or simply have a train ticket with you before everyone else — there’s good news from 12306.cn, the official China Railways e-ticketing service:
E-ticketing (both via the 12306.cn website and the official China Railways 12306 smartphone app) will begin earlier — starting at 06:00, instead of 07:00, as of 10 August 2016.
This also means that the earliest ticket you can get via e-booking services will be any departure on or after 06:30 in the morning — though it might only work if you actually have a valid Chinese ID card, since neither the ticket gate readers nor the e-ticket pickup machines recognise foreign passports!
Please always be sure to get your tickets from official railway sources. When purchasing online, always use your passport.