Another China hotel booking website I would like to recommend is Sinohotel. I’ve used their service, which is satisfactory to me.
Their English page has more user comment than elong, and for some hotels, they conduct checks and write their own comment. This is one great advantage over elong – more review in English. The price they offer and the range of the hotels they have are no different from those at elong, though.
As elong, once you fill out the online booking form, they will email you to acknowledge your booking and then email again to confirm the booking. Credit card is usually not needed for keeping the booking. You make payment when you arrive at the hotel.
However, you have to take note that China hotels request guests to pay deposit for their stay and the deposit will be returned when they check out. The deposit can be paid in the form of cash or credit card, usually a few hundred RMB.