When booking your China Tour it is highly recommended that you exchange a small amount of money before you arrive into China. The Chinese Renminbi or RMB is known as ‘the people’s money’ and there are different ways of saying the currencies. You will hear people say Yuan which is said similar to ‘you-on’ or you will hear Kaui and it is pronounced similar to ‘kwhy’. There are many different notes and coins which you need to get familiar with and need to be aware of the counterfeiting of the 100 and 50 Yuan. So while you are on your long China Flight, study your notes and coins so you can become familiar with them all.


On the foreign exchange bureaus China is known as CNY which is abbreviated for the Chinese Yuan. In regards to exchanging money if you are staying in a four or five star hotel they provide this service or if your hotel doesn’t, head to the Bank of China. Bank of China is one of the biggest banks and is located all over China especially in Beijing and they have all currencies within the branch. An important reminder, don’t forget to take your passport with you when exchanging money.


Since December 1948, five editions of the Chinese Yuan have been released; the final edition was released in October 1999. In regards to your notes there is 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. With the coins there is 0.1, 0.5 and 1. The 1 Yuan comes in a note and in a coin form, the 1 Yuan coin is the largest silver coin. In relations to 0.1 and 0.5 they are called Jiao or known as Mao and they both come in note and coin forms, the 0.5 is a gold coin and the 0.1 is a small silver coin. In their note forms they are a smaller size compared to the Yuan.



Like in many countries, counterfeit currency is common in China. It is mainly the bigger notes which are targeted so either the 50 or 100 Yuan. There are many ways to determine if you have received a counterfeit note or not. On the back of all notes there will be what they call as a security line, this looks like silver shiny sections going down in a straight line in the middle of the note. On the front of the note there will be a water mark on the left side of the note, this was released in the fifth edition and when it is moved back and forth you will be able to see Mao Zedong. Also when you move the note back and forth the denominator ID on the left side will change colour. Therefore the 100 will change from green to blue and the 50 will change from gold to green. You can also determine if the note is real or not by touching Mao Zedong’s collar, it should feel bumpy along with the curve pattern on the edge of the right side it should also feel bumpy. It is quite easy to detect, it is also very common if a clerk will check your note before putting it away. However if you stumble across a fake note unfortunately there is not much you can do with it and the banks will not exchange it for a real one. The only time you can swap it back is if you received it at the bank and you checked the note before you left the premises.


So when you arrive in China and tour this wonderful country you will now have a better understanding of the different types of notes and coins you will come across. Also by being aware of the potential risk of coming across a counterfeit 50 or 100 Yuan will definitely
reassure you when you experience the great shopping the Chinese have to offer.

Jack Li
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