What is the local currency?
China's currency is the renminbi (RMB) or the yuan, which means "people's currency."
In spoken Chinese, the yuan is referred to as kuai.
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What denominations does it come in?
The currency has three units: yuan, jiao and fen. One yuan equals ten jiao, and one jiao equals ten
fen. The following denominations are available:

  • Notes: 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 1 fen
  • Coins: 1 yuan; 5 and 1 jiao; 5, 2 and 1 fen

Do note: due to the very low value, fen notes and coins are almost useless.
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What is the best way to exchange currency?
The Bank of China is the only domestic bank that exchanges money. In comparison with international banks such as Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered, the rates are competitive but the bank fees are higher.

Currency is only exchanged freely from foreign currencies to RMB. However, freelance moneychangers outside banks are usually more economical and commonly used.
Bank of China ATM machines will accept foreign ATM cards.
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What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash is most commonly used although larger supermarket chains and upscale stores will accept local bank cards. Hotels catering to foreigners will accept international credit cards.
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Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Hotels, restaurants and major shopping chains accept credit cards. It is still advisable to keep cash on you at all times.
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By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Rent is paid in cash directly to landlord. Utilities are paid in cash at the bank.
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What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
You can open a bank account with your passport. It is recommended that you open it as soon as possible after arrival.
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Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
The banks operate in Chinese, but there is usually a teller or two who can help foreigners.
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Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
The yuan is not a freely converted currency. While it is easy to change foreign currency into yuan, it is often more difficult to exchange yuan into a foreign currency without additional paperwork required, such as proof of income tax payment. Additionally, transferring RMB out of China is not permitted nor is transferring foreign currency that has originated in mainland China. Changing RMB to a foreign currency is not permitted unless it is to change money back that was cashed using traveller's checks.
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What are typical banking hours?
8am to 5pm. Some banks close between 12 and 2 for lunch.
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Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, although often ATMs that accept Cirrus/Maestro and international Visa cards don't work properly.
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Is there any other money information that might help me?
You should keep all your foreign exchange certificates or pay slips and tax slips if you receive some of your income in RMB in case you need to change RMB back to your preferred currency. It is difficult to change RMB to foreign currency in China.

Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.