Payments Explained: What is the Chinese currency?

These denominations have been available since 1955, except for the ¥20 notes (added in 1999 with the fifth series) ¥50 and ¥100 notes (added in 1987 with the fourth series). Coins are available in denominations from ¥0.01 to ¥1 (¥0.01–1). On rare occasions, larger yuan coin denominations such as ¥5 have been issued to commemorate events but use of these outside of collecting has never been widespread. In 1955, the RMB was revalued, meaning that each new yuan was equal to 10,000 units of the old yuan currency. This revaluation was essential in stabilising the economy and encouraging economic growth in the country. The RMB has since become one of the most traded currencies in the world, with its value held in major reserve banks and investment funds across the globe.

The maximum dollar withdrawal is $10,000 per day, the maximum purchase limit of US dollars is $500 per day. This stringent management of the currency leads to a bottled-up demand for exchange in both directions. It is viewed as a major tool to keep the currency peg, preventing inflows of “hot money”. For most of its early history, the renminbi was pegged to the U.S. dollar at ¥2.46 per dollar.

This can be called one “mao” or one “jiao”, and both refer to the same thing, with “mao” being more commonly speaked. Another interesting fact is that the official symbol for the Yuan is ¥, but almost everywhere in China you will find the Chinese character 元 instead. You can also refer to the Chinese Yuan as “CNY” (commonly used in the financial market), and Renminbi as “RMB”. Yes, China has its own currency, which is the Chinese yuan (CNY) or renminbi (RMB).

Tips for exchanging currency in China.

At the time of invasion of China’s northeast in 1931, multiple currencies were circulating. These included local provincial issues, the Kuomintang fabi and yen currencies issued by the Bank of Chosen and the Bank of Taiwan. China Highlights has several articles to further assist you in your dealings with Broke Millennial currency exchange and money more generally in China. 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.

You can convert unused RMB to another currency in China by producing the receipts for your original purchase of RMB in China. When dealing with foreign currencies, foreign bank cards etc., it is best to remember that the regulatory environment in China when it comes to these things can be chaotic. Bank staff can prove very helpful and understanding in this given they find the rule changes no less tiresome than their customers. Be patient with them, and you will find the bank’s employees are very much on your side, and eager to help. Limits tend to be set on how much RMB you can change to a foreign currency in a single day in China itself, and these limits may be fairly low.

  • The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau use the Hong Kong dollar and the Macanese pataca, respectively.
  • Between 1930 and 1948, banknotes were also issued by the Central Bank of China denominated in customs gold units.
  • In the Republic of China (ROC), the New Taiwan dollar is the official legal tender in Taiwan since 2000.
  • During the 1970s, it was revalued until it reached ¥1.50 per dollar in 1980.
  • The Chinese Renminbi (RMB) is used for domestic transactions within Mainland China, whereas the Chinese Yuan (CNY) is used for international transactions outside the mainland.

Along with printing the currency, the bank is also responsible for monetary and fiscal policy as well as financial regulation in China. The PBOC management team consists of a governor, six deputy governors, and a chief inspector. Chinese paper money comes in denominations of one, five, ten, twenty, fifty and one hundred. Since currency flows in and out of mainland China are still restricted, renminbi traded in off-shore markets, such as the Hong Kong market, can have a different value to renminbi traded on the mainland. The offshore RMB market is usually denoted as CNH, but there is another renminbi interbank and spot market in Taiwan for domestic trading known as CNT. Renminbi is the name of the currency while yuan is the name of the primary unit of the renminbi.


The most important move to a market-oriented exchange rate was an easing of controls on trade and other current account transactions, as occurred in several very early steps. In 1979, the State Council approved a system allowing exporters and their provincial and local government owners to retain a share of their foreign exchange earnings, referred to as foreign exchange quotas. At the same time, the government introduced measures to allow retention of part of the foreign exchange earnings from non-trade sources, such as overseas remittances, port fees paid by foreign vessels, and tourism. Both the Qing Dynasty and early Republican government circulated silver yuan coins and banknotes.

The pound sterling is the name of the British currency itself while pounds are a denomination of the pound sterling. You use pounds to purchase goods and services, not pounds sterling or sterling. Following this example, it’s important to remember that you can refer to the currency in general as the renminbi. But references to monetary value and prices use the term yuan.


These depict the national emblem on the obverse (front) and the name and denomination framed by wheat stalks on the reverse (back). In 1980, brass ¥0.1, ¥0.2, and ¥0.5 and cupro-nickel ¥1 coins were added, although the ¥0.1 and ¥0.2 were only produced until 1981, with the last ¥0.5 and ¥1 issued in 1985. All jiǎo coins depicted similar designs to the fēn coins while the yuán depicted the Great Wall of China.

Who is on the back of the one hundred dollar bill?

Specifically, it is divided into 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 yuan notes. 1 yuan is worth 10 ‘jiǎo’ 角  (also generally referred to as ‘máo’ 毛 in spoken Chinese). Furthermore, 1 ‘jiao’ can then divided in 10 ‘fēn’ 分, but fen are rarely used in China today. China has increased its attempts to back its day trading signals currency, including promoting free usage of the renminbi. Whether you know it as a yuan or renminbi, what matters is that the currency from China remains a central part of the world economy. The digital yuan, or e-CNY, is only available to users of certain banks in certain Chinese cities.

Get your Wise debit card and save on your trip to China

China uses the currency known as the Chinese yuan (CNY) or renminbi (RMB). The terms yuan and renminbi are often used interchangeably, with renminbi referring to the official currency and yuan representing the primary unit of the currency. China’s official currency is called Renminbi — it’s also known as the “people’s currency”. In mainland China, it’s officially called the Chinese yuan renminbi (CNY). Prior to the Chinese economy becoming one of the world’s leading industrial and economic powers, its currency was relatively closed off from international exchange and tightly regulated by the government. This was done to ensure that the amount of money and capital flowing out of the country was restricted and the government had better control over the economy.

Alternative words

During the Imperial period, banknotes were issued in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 jiao, 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 yuan, although notes below 1 yuan were uncommon. As a fiat currency, the yuan is ultimately backed by faith in the Chinese government. China’s central bank holds trillions of dollars worth of reserves, including foreign exchange and gold reserves. The first locally minted silver dollar or yuan accepted all over Qing dynasty China (1644–1912) was the silver dragon dollar introduced in 1889.

Whether you’re even able to do that is dependent on what foreign currencies that particular branch has available on that particular day. One practical consideration arising from this is the relatively low value of the highest denomination (100 yuan) bank note in China when compared with other currencies, video game company stocks which means you’d a bigger wallet for making cash payments. Fortunately, (international) banking and apps mean carrying large amounts of cash is seldom necessary in China. The current series of Chinese banknotes is the fifth series of the renminbi; it has been progressively introduced from 1999.

During the period of the command economy, the value of the RMB was tightly controlled, with one yuan pegged at 2.46 yuan to the U.S. dollar until 1971. As the Chinese economy began opening to the world market, the PBOC allowed the yuan to trade on international markets, although the floating exchange rate was still tightly controlled. Between 1930 and 1948, banknotes were also issued by the Central Bank of China denominated in customs gold units. These, known as “gold yuan notes”, circulated as normal currency in the 1940s alongside the yuan.

A fifty-dollar note is also known colloquially as a “pineapple” or the “Big Pineapple” because of its yellow colour. The character is the same as Mao’s surname, but the word was used long before he came to prominence. Anyone suspecting a link between the mao and Chinese former communist leader Mao Zedong would be mistaken.

Hong Kong’s currency is the Hong Kong Dollar and Macau’s currency is called the Pataca. China’s economic downturn is also causing problems for the yuan, Piron said. Beijing has implemented a strict zero-COVID policy that is weighing on production and the economy. It is also loosening monetary policy, making the country look less appealing to investors.

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