Chinese Money

The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB or CNY) or in Chinese "Ren-min-bi". The basic unit is the yuan (also known as "kuai"), which equals 10 jiao (or "mao"), which is then divided into 10 fen. Paper currency comes in 1.2,5,10,50 and 100 yuan notes. Paper jiao come in denominations of 1, 2, and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes, but these are rarely used as they have no purchasing power. 1 yuan, 1 and 5 jiao, and 1, 2, and 5 fen coins are also used but are more common in larger cities.


Changing money

It is possible to exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter. Cash advances are available on most common credit/debit cards e.g. American Express/Visa/MasterCard, but this facility is available only from the main branch of the Bank of China in most Chinese cities. A fee of 3%-4% will apply. The Bank of China has an ATM network that will allow cash advances from major credit / debit cards and ATM cards. Check you credit card provider for this information before leaving your home country. You are required to present your passport to change money/travelers checks etc. Hotels will usually only allow you to change money if you are guest at the hotel.

The RMB is not easily convertible on the international market so it is only usable in China . It is advisable to change only the money that you need for you trip as it may be difficult to change back to you preferred currency. RMB is now readily convertible in Hong Kong .

You can convert unused RMB to another currency in China by producing the receipts for your original purchase of RMB in China . This exchange is done at the airport as you leave China . There is a foreign exchange black market but it is illegal.

Money Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer using a service called Money Transfer is available and is a joint venture between the China Courier Service Corporation and Western Union . This service allows instant money wiring to and from 100 countries. Check the Western Union website for further information. Click here


Counterfeit Money

Although the Government is trying to eradicate this practice there are still some problems with the use of counterfeit money, although the problem is decreasing. It is very common practice for those who are receiving money to check its authenticity. Do not be offended by this practice. It is not a reflection on your character.


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