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Money Matters in China


The currency in China is called Renminbi, and is issued by the national bank — the People's Bank of China. The units of Renminbi are Yuan, Jiao and Fen. Jiao and Fen is the fractional currency. The paper money comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yuan. The Jiao's denomination can be 1, 2, 5; similarly with the Fen. Ten Fen is one Jiao and Ten Jiao is one Yuan. There is also coinage for One Yuan, Five Jiao as well as One, Two and Five Fen. But Fen is not commonly used in the coin form in daily life. The abbreviation of Renminbi is RMB or CNY with its symbol of ?. Colloquially, Chinese, people often say Kuai and Mao instead of Yuan and Jiao.

Foreign Currency Exchange

Foreign currency and traveler's cheques are not to circulate in China, so you have to exchange them for Chinese Yuan only at Bank of China or the banks' cash centers at major airports and hotels.

Foreign credit cards available in China

Master Card
Visa Card
American Express Card
JCB Card
Diners Card

Actually China is still a cash-dominated country. But there are places like star-rated hotels, chain international shopping malls, etc, which do accept credit cards/ traveler's cheques. But most other places might have difficulty handling credit card/TC payment. ATM of Bank of China is so extensive that you can easily go and draw RMB with your credit cards whenever you need.


All Chinese Banks including BC (Bank of China), CCB (China Construction Bank), ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) and ABC (Agricultural Bank of China) and their branches, plus some other banks will transact financial affairs for foreigners.

It is quite easy to open a Chinese RMB account with Bank of China that opens 7 days per week. You only need to show your passport (ID attached) with valid visa. You will get issued with a passbook and card on the spot for a small fee of about CNY10 then you can use any of the ATM to withdraw cash.

When you withdraw your $US currency over the counter, you can then easily exchange it into Chinese RMB before you leave the bank. It is safe to carry cash but of course you need to be discreet about it.

 The following are some of the banks in Beijing.
Beijing Branch of BC
No.8, Yabao Lu, Chaoyang District
Beijing Branch of CCB
No.28 Building, Xuanwumen Xijie, Xuanwu District
Beijing Xidan Branch of ICBC
No.176 Xidan Beidajie
Beijing Dongcheng Branch of ABC
Hua Li Mansion, No.58, Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng District
Bank of Beijing
No.156, Fuxingmennei Dajie, Xicheng District
Beijing Branch of CITIC Industrial Bank
Investing Square, No. Jia 27, Jinrong Jie Jia, Xicheng District