The renminbi (Ab.: RMB; simplified Chinese: 人民币; traditional
Chinese: 人民幣; pinyin: rénmínbì; literally: "people's
currency"; sign: 元; code: CNY) is the official currency of the
People's Republic of China. The yuan (Chinese: 元; pinyin: yuán) is
the basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used to refer to the
Chinese currency generally, especially in international contexts where
"Chinese yuan" is widely used to refer to the renminbi. The
distinction between the terms renminbi and yuan is similar to that
between sterling and pound, which respectively refer to the British
currency and its primary unit. One yuan is subdivided into 10 jiao
(Chinese: 角; pinyin: jiǎo), and a jiao in turn is subdivided into
10 fen (Chinese: 分; pinyin: fēn). The renminbi is issued by the
People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of China.
Until 2005, the value of the renminbi was pegged to the US dollar. As
China pursued its transition from central planning to a market
economy, and increased its participation in foreign trade, the
renminbi was devalued to increase the competitiveness of Chinese
industry. It has previously been claimed that the renminbi's official
exchange rate was undervalued by as much as 37.5% against its
purchasing power parity. More recently, however, appreciation
actions by the Chinese government, as well as quantitative easing
measures taken by the American
Federal Reserve and other major central
banks, have caused the renminbi to be within as little as 8% of its
equilibrium value by the second half of 2012. Since 2006, the
renminbi exchange rate has been allowed to float in a narrow margin
around a fixed base rate determined with reference to a basket of
world currencies. The Chinese government has announced that it will
gradually increase the flexibility of the exchange rate. As a result
of the rapid internationalization of the renminbi, it became the
world's 8th most traded currency in 2013, and 5th by 2015.
On 1 October 2016, the RMB became the first emerging market currency
to be included in the IMF's special drawing rights basket, the basket
of currencies used by the IMF (reserve currency).
2.1 Era of the planned economy
2.2 Transition to an equilibrium exchange rate
2.3 Evolution of exchange policy since 1994
3.3 Commemorative issues of the renminbi
3.4 Use in minority regions
3.5 Production and minting
3.6 Suggested future design
4.2 Depegged from the U.S. dollar
4.3 Managed float
4.4 Futures market
4.5 Purchasing power parity
4.7 International reserve currency
4.8 Use as a currency outside mainland China
4.9 Other markets
4.10 Current exchange rates
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
Formal currency name
RMB, CNY, CNH
Formal name for 1 unit
元 or 圆 (yuán)
Formal name for 1⁄10 unit
Formal name for 1⁄100 unit
Other currency names
Other unit names (1)
The ISO code for renminbi (which may also be used for the yuan) is CNY
(an abbreviation for "Chinese yuan"), or also CNH when traded in
off-shore markets such as Hong Kong. The currency is often
abbreviated RMB, or indicated by the yuan sign ¥. The latter may be
¥ to distinguish it from other currencies with the same
symbol (such as the Japanese yen). In Chinese texts the currency may
also be indicated with the
Chinese character for the yuan, 圆 (or 元
informally). The renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not
Hong Kong or Macau. However,
Renminbi is widely accepted in Hong
Kong and Macau, and are easily exchanged in the two territories, with
Hong Kong allowing people to maintain accounts in RMB and
withdraw RMB banknotes from ATM terminals.
See also: History of Chinese currency
A variety of currencies circulated in
China during the Republic of
China (ROC) era, most of which were denominated in the unit yuán
(pronounced [ɥæ̌n˧˥]). Each was distinguished by a currency name,
such as the fabi ("legal tender"), the "gold yuan", and the "silver
The renminbi was introduced by the People's Bank of
China in December
1948, about a year before the establishment of the People's Republic
of China. It was issued only in paper money form at first, and
replaced the various currencies circulating in the areas controlled by
the Communists. One of the first tasks of the new government was to
end the hyperinflation that had plagued
China in the final years of
Kuomintang (KMT) era. That achieved, a revaluation occurred in
1955 at the rate of 1 new yuan = 10,000 old yuan.
As the Communist Party of
China took control of ever larger
territories in the latter part of the Chinese Civil War, its People's
China began in 1948 to issue a unified currency for use in
Communist-controlled territories. Also denominated in yuan, this
currency was identified by different names, including "People's Bank
China banknotes" (simplified Chinese: 中国人民银行钞票;
traditional Chinese: 中國人民銀行鈔票; from November 1948),
"New Currency" (simplified Chinese: 新币; traditional Chinese:
新幣; from December 1948), "People's Bank of
(simplified Chinese: 中国人民银行券; traditional Chinese:
中國人民銀行券; from January 1949), "People's Notes"
(人民券, as an abbreviation of the last name), and finally
"People's Currency", or "renminbi", from June 1949.
Era of the planned economy
Further information: Planned economy
From 1949 until the late 1970s, the state fixed China's exchange rate
at a highly overvalued level as part of the country's
import-substitution strategy. During this time frame, the focus of the
state's central planning was to accelerate industrial development and
reduce China's dependence on imported manufactured goods. The
overvaluation allowed the government to provide imported machinery and
equipment to priority industries at a relatively lower domestic
currency cost than otherwise would have been possible.
Transition to an equilibrium exchange rate
China's transition by the mid-1990s to a system in which the value of
its currency was determined by supply and demand in a foreign exchange
market was a gradual process spanning 15 years that involved changes
in the official exchange rate, the use of a dual exchange rate system,
and the introduction and gradual expansion of markets for foreign
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.
As early as October 1980, exporting firms that retained foreign
exchange above their own import needs were allowed to sell the excess
through the state agency responsible for the management of China's
exchange controls and its foreign exchange reserves, the State
Administration of Exchange Control. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the
government sanctioned foreign exchange markets, known as swap centers
eventually in most large cities.
The government also gradually allowed market force to take the
dominant role by introducing an "internal settlement rate" of RMB 2.8
US dollar which was a devaluation of almost 100 percent.
Evolution of exchange policy since 1994
In November 1993 the Third Plenum of the Fourteenth CPC Central
Committee approved a comprehensive reform strategy in which foreign
exchange management reforms were highlighted as a key element for a
market-oriented economy. A floating exchange rate regime and
convertibility for RMB were seen as the ultimate goal of the reform.
Conditional convertibility under current account was achieved by
allowing firms to surrender their foreign exchange earning from
current account transactions and purchase foreign exchange as needed.
Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was also loosened and
capital inflows to
During the era of the command economy, the value of the renminbi was
set to unrealistic values in exchange with western currency and severe
currency exchange rules were put in place. With the opening of the
mainland Chinese economy in 1978, a dual-track currency system was
instituted, with renminbi usable only domestically, and with
foreigners forced to use foreign exchange certificates. The
unrealistic levels at which exchange rates were pegged led to a strong
black market in currency transactions.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s,
China worked to make the RMB more
convertible. Through the use of swap centres, the exchange rate was
brought to realistic levels and the dual track currency system was
As of 2013, the renminbi is convertible on current accounts but not
capital accounts. The ultimate goal has been to make the RMB fully
convertible. However, partly in response to the Asian financial crisis
China has been concerned that the mainland Chinese financial
system would not be able to handle the potential rapid cross-border
movements of hot money, and as a result, as of 2012, the currency
trades within a narrow band specified by the Chinese central
Following the Internationalization of the renminbi, on 30 November
2015, the IMF voted to designate the renminbi as one of several main
world currencies, thus including it in the basket of special drawing
rights. The RMB became the first emerging market currency to be
included in the IMF’s SDR basket on 1 October 2016. The other
main world currencies are the United States dollar, euro, British
pound, and Japanese yen.
As of 2016, renminbi banknotes are available in denominations from
¥0.1, ¥0.2, ¥0.5 (1, 2, and 5 jiao), ¥1, ¥2, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20,
¥50 and ¥100 yuan. These denominations have been available since
1955, except for the 50 and 100 yuan notes (added in 1980) and 20 yuan
notes (added in or after 1999). Coins are available in denominations
from 1 fen to 1 yuan (¥0.01–1). Thus some denominations exist in
both coins and banknotes. 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.
The denomination of each banknote is printed in Chinese. The numbers
themselves are printed in financial
Chinese numeral characters, as
well as Arabic numerals. The denomination and the words "People's Bank
of China" are also printed in Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhuang on
the back of each banknote, in addition to the boldface Hanyu Pinyin
"Zhongguo Renmin Yinhang" (without tones). The right front of the note
has a tactile representation of the denomination in Chinese Braille
starting from the fourth series. See corresponding section for
The fen and jiao denominations have become increasingly unnecessary as
prices have increased. Coins under ¥0.1 are used infrequently.
Chinese retailers tend to avoid decimal values (such as ¥9.99),
opting instead for integer values of yuan (such as ¥9 or ¥10).
In 1953, aluminium 1-, 2-, and 5-fen coins began being struck for
circulation, and were first introduced in 1955. These depict the
national emblem on the obverse (front) and the name and denomination
framed by wheat stocks on the reverse (back). In 1980, brass 1-, 2-,
and 5-jiao and cupro-nickel 1-yuan coins were added, although the 1
and 2 jiao were only produced until 1981, with the last 5 jiao and 1
yuan issued in 1985. All jiao coins depicted similar designs to the
fen coins while the yuan depicted the Great Wall of China. In 1991, a
new coinage was introduced, consisting of an aluminium 1 jiao, brass 5
jiao and nickel-clad-steel 1 yuan. These were smaller than the
previous jiao and yuan coins and depicted flowers on the obverse and
the national emblem on the reverse. Issuance of the aluminum 1- and
2-fen coins ceased in 1991, with that of the 5 fen halting in 1994.
The small coins were still made for annual uncirculated mint sets in
limited quantities, and from the beginning of 2005 the 1-fen coin got
a new lease on life by being issued again every year since then up to
present. New designs of the 1 and 5 jiao and 1 yuan were again
introduced in between 1999 and 2002, with the 1 jiao being
significantly reduced in size. In 2005, the metallic composition of
the 1 jiao was changed from aluminum to more durable nickel-plated
steel. The frequency of usage of coins varies between different parts
of China, with coins typically being more popular in urban areas, and
small notes being more popular in rural areas. Older fen and large
jiao coins are uncommonly still seen in circulation but are still
valid in exchange.
A fifth-series 20 renminbi yuan bill shown next to the location
depicted on the bill (2017)
As of 2016, there have been five series of renminbi banknotes issued
by the People's Republic of China:
The first series of renminbi banknotes was issued on 1 December 1948,
by the newly founded People's Bank of China. It introduced notes in
denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1000 yuan. Notes for 200,
500, 5000 and 10,000 yuan followed in 1949, with 50,000 yuan notes
added in 1950. A total of 62 different designs were issued. The notes
were officially withdrawn on various dates between 1 April and 10 May
1955. The name "first series" was given retroactively in 1950, after
work began to design a new series.
These first renminbi notes were printed with the words "People's Bank
of China", "Republic of China", and the denomination, written in
Chinese characters by Dong Biwu.
The second series of renminbi banknotes was introduced on 1 March 1955
(but dated 1953). Each note has the words "People's Bank of China" as
well as the denomination in the Uyghur, Tibetan, Mongolian and Zhuang
languages on the back, which has since appeared in each series of
renminbi notes. The denominations available in banknotes were ¥0.01,
¥0.02, ¥0.05, ¥0.1, ¥0.2, ¥0.5, ¥1, ¥2, ¥3, ¥5 and ¥10.
Except for the three fen denominations and the 3 yuan which were
withdrawn, notes in these denominations continued to circulate. Good
examples of this series have gained high status with banknote
The third series of renminbi banknotes was introduced on 15 April
1962, though many denominations were dated 1960. New dates would be
issued as stocks of older dates were gradually depleted. The sizes and
design layout of the notes had changed but not the order of colors for
each denomination. For the next two decades, the second and third
series banknotes were used concurrently. The denominations were of
¥0.1, ¥0.2, ¥0.5, ¥1, ¥2, ¥5 and ¥10. The third series was
phased out during the 1990s and then was recalled completely on 1 July
The fourth series of renminbi banknotes was introduced between 1987
and 1997, although the banknotes were dated 1980, 1990, or 1996. They
are still legal tender. Banknotes are available in denominations of
¥0.1, ¥0.2, ¥0.5, ¥1, ¥2, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50 and ¥100. Like
previous issues, the color designation for already existing
denominations remained in effect.
The fifth series of renminbi banknotes and coins was progressively
introduced from 1999. This series also bears the years 2005 (all
except ¥1) and 2015 (¥100 only). As of 2016, it includes banknotes
for ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20, ¥50 and ¥100. Significantly, the fifth
series uses the portrait of
Mao Zedong on all banknotes, in place of
the various leaders and workers which had been featured previously.
During this series new security features were added, the ¥2
denomination was discontinued, and the color pattern for each note was
Commemorative issues of the renminbi
In 1999, a commemorative red ¥50 note was issued in honor of the 50th
anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China.
This note features
Mao Zedong on the front and various animals on the
An orange polymer note, and so far, China's only polymer note,
commemorating the new millennium was issued in 2000 with a face value
of ¥100. This features a dragon on the obverse and the reverse
China Millennium monument (at the Center for Cultural and
For the 2008
Beijing Olympics, a green ¥10 note was issued featuring
the Bird's Nest Stadium on the front with the back showing a classical
Olympic discus thrower and various other athletes.
On 26 November 2015, the People's Bank of
China issued a blue ¥100
commemorative note to commemorate aerospace science and
Use in minority regions
This article contains Mongolian script. Without proper rendering
support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead
of text in Mongolian script.
This article contains Tibetan script. Without proper rendering
support, you may see very small fonts, misplaced vowels or missing
conjuncts instead of Tibetan characters.
This article contains Uyghur text. Without proper rendering support,
you may see unjoined letters or other symbols instead of Uyghur
The second series of the renminbi had the most readable minority
languages text, but no Zhuang text on it. Its issue of ¥0.1–¥0.5
even highlighted the Mongolian text.
"People's Bank of
China Ten Yuan" written in 5 different languages.
From top to bottom and left to right: Mandarin pinyin, Mongolian,
Tibetan, Uyghur, and Zhuang languages.
A special edition designed for Inner
Mongolia in the first series of
The renminbi yuan has different names when used in minority regions.
When used in Inner
Mongolia and other Mongol autonomies, a yuan is
called a tugreg (Mongolian: ᠲᠦᠭᠦᠷᠢᠭ᠌ tügürig).
However, when used in the republic of Mongolia, it is still named
yuani (Mongolian: юань) to differentiate it from Mongolian
tögrög (Mongolian: төгрөг). One Chinese tügürig (tugreg) is
divided into 100 mönggü (Mongolian: ᠮᠥᠩᠭᠦ), one Chinese
jiao is labeled "10 mönggü". In Mongolian, renminbi is called aradin
jogos or arad-un jogos (Mongolian: ᠠᠷᠠᠳ ᠤᠨ
ᠵᠣᠭᠣᠰ arad-un ǰoγos).
When used in Tibet and other Tibetan autonomies, a yuan is called a
gor (Tibetan: སྒོར་, ZYPY: Gor). One gor is divided into 10
gorsur (Tibetan: སྒོར་ཟུར་, ZYPY: Gorsur) or 100 gar
(Tibetan: སྐར་, ZYPY: gar). In Tibetan, renminbi is called
མི་དམངས་ཤོག་དངུལ།, ZYPY: Mimang
Xogngü) or mimang shog ngul.
When used in the Uyghur autonomy region of Xinjiang, the renminbi is
called Xelq puli (Uyghur: خەلق پۇلى)
Production and minting
Renminbi currency production is carried out by a state owned
China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation (CBPMC;
中国印钞造币总公司) headquartered in Beijing. CBPMC uses
several printing, engraving and minting facilities around the country
to produce banknotes and coins for subsequent distribution. Banknote
printing facilities are based in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi'an,
Shijiazhuang, and Nanchang. Mints are located in Nanjing, Shanghai,
and Shenyang. Also, high grade paper for the banknotes is produced at
two facilities in
Baoding and Kunshan. The
Baoding facility is the
largest facility in the world dedicated to developing banknote
material according to its website. In addition, the People's Bank
China has its own printing technology research division that
researches new techniques for creating banknotes and making
counterfeiting more difficult.
Suggested future design
On 13 March 2006, some delegates to an advisory body at the National
People's Congress proposed to include
Sun Yat-sen and
Deng Xiaoping on
the renminbi banknotes. However, the proposal was not adopted.
Most traded currencies by value
Currency distribution of global foreign exchange market turnover
ISO 4217 code
% daily share
United States dollar
New Zealand dollar
Hong Kong dollar
South Korean won
South African rand
Renminbi currency value
1 USD to RMB, since 1981
For most of its early history, the RMB was pegged to the U.S. dollar
at ¥2.46 per USD (note: during the 1970s, it was revalued until it
reached ¥1.50 per USD in 1980). When China's economy gradually opened
in the 1980s, the RMB was devalued in order to improve the
competitiveness of Chinese exports. Thus, the official exchange rate
increased from ¥1.50 in 1980 to ¥8.62 by 1994 (the lowest rate on
record). Improving current account balance during the latter half of
the 1990s enabled the Chinese government to maintain a peg of ¥8.27
per USD from 1997 to 2005.
The RMB reached a record high exchange value of ¥6.0395 to the U.S.
dollar on 14 January 2014. Chinese leadership have been raising
the yuan to tame inflation, a step U.S. officials have pushed for
years to lower the massive trade deficit with China. Strengthening
the value of the RMB also fits with the Chinese transition to a more
consumer-led economic growth model.
In 2015 the
Chinese Central Bank
Chinese Central Bank again devalued their country's
currency. As of 1 September 2015[update], the exchange rate
for 1 USD is ¥6.37.
Depegged from the U.S. dollar
On 21 July 2005, the peg was finally lifted, which saw an immediate
one-time RMB revaluation to ¥8.11 per USD. The exchange rate
against the euro stood at ¥10.07060 yuan per euro.
However the peg was reinstituted unofficially when the financial
crisis hit: "Under intense pressure from Washington,
China took small
steps to allow its currency to strengthen for three years starting in
July 2005. But
China 're-pegged' its currency to the dollar as the
financial crisis intensified in July 2008."
On 19 June 2010, the People’s Bank of
China released a statement
simultaneously in Chinese and English indicating that they would
"proceed further with reform of the RMB exchange rate regime and
increase the RMB exchange rate flexibility". The news was greeted
with praise by world leaders including Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy
and Stephen Harper. The PBoC maintained there would be no "large
swings" in the currency. The RMB rose to its highest level in five
years and markets worldwide surged on Monday, 21 June following
In August 2015, Joseph Adinolfi, a reporter for MarketWatch, reported
China had re-pegged the RMB. In his article, he narrated that
"Weak trade data out of China, released over the weekend, weighed on
the currencies of
Australia and New Zealand on Monday. But the yuan
didn’t budge. Indeed, the Chinese currency, also known as the
renminbi, has been remarkably steady over the past month despite the
huge selloff in China’s stock market and a spate of disappointing
economic data. Market strategists, including Simon Derrick, chief
currency strategist at BNY Mellon, and Marc Chandler, head currency
strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, said that’s because China’s
policy makers have effectively re-pegged the yuan. “When I look at
the dollar-renminbi right now, that looks like a fixed exchange rate
again. They’ve re-pegged it,” Chandler said."
The RMB has now moved to a managed floating exchange rate based on
market supply and demand with reference to a basket of foreign
currencies. In July 2005, the daily trading price of the U.S. dollar
against the RMB in the inter-bank foreign exchange market was allowed
to float within a narrow band of 0.3% around the central parity 
published by the People's Bank of China; in a later announcement
published on 18 May 2007, the band was extended to 0.5%. On 14
April 2012, the band was extended to 1.0%. On 17 March 2014, the
band was extended to 2%.
China has stated that the basket is
dominated by the United States dollar, euro,
Japanese yen and South
Korean won, with a smaller proportion made up of the British pound,
Thai baht, Russian ruble, Australian dollar,
Canadian dollar and
On 10 April 2008, it traded at ¥6.9920 per US dollar, which was the
first time in more than a decade that a dollar had bought less than
seven yuan, and at 11.03630 yuan per euro.
Beginning in January 2010, Chinese and non-Chinese citizens have an
annual exchange limit of a maximum of US$50,000. Exchange will only
proceed if the applicant appears in person at the relevant bank, and
presents their passport or Chinese ID; these deals are being centrally
registered. The maximum dollar withdrawal is $10,000 per day, the
maximum purchase limit of USD 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'.
A shift of Chinese reserves into the currencies of their other trading
partners has caused these nations to shift more of their reserves into
dollars, leading to no great change in the value of the renminbi
against the dollar.
Renminbi futures are traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The
futures are cash-settled at the exchange rate published by the
People's Bank of China.
Purchasing power parity
Scholarly studies suggest that the yuan is undervalued on the basis of
purchasing power parity analysis. One 2011 study suggests a 37.5%
World Bank estimated that, by purchasing power parity, one
International dollar was equivalent to approximately ¥1.9 in
International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund estimated that, by purchasing power
parity, one International dollar was equivalent to approximately
¥3.462 in 2006, ¥3.621 in 2007, ¥3.798 in 2008, ¥3.872 in 2009,
¥3.922 in 2010, ¥3.946 in 2011, ¥3.952 in 2012, ¥3.944 in 2013 and
¥3.937 in 2014.
The People’s Bank of
China lowered the renminbi’s daily fix to the
US dollar by 1.9 per cent to ¥6.2298 on 11 August 2015. The
People’s Bank of
China again lowered the renminbi’s daily fix to
US dollar from ¥6.620 to ¥6.6375 after the
Brexit on 27 June
2016. It had not been this low since December 2010.
Main article: Internationalization of the renminbi
Internationalization of the Renminbi
2002 (2002): The Chinese government launches the Qualified
Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) program
January 2004 (2004-01): Retail depositors in
Hong Kong are
allowed for the first time to convert some of their savings into the
July 2005 (2005-07):
China drops the U.S. dollar peg by
fixing the renminbi’s exchange rate to a trade-weighted currency
July 2007 (2007-07):
China issues its first batch of
RMB-denominated bonds outside mainland territory
On 24 November 2010,
Vladimir Putin announces that Russia's bilateral
China will be settled in ruble and yuan, instead of U.S.
15 December 2010 (2010-12-15): The renminbi begins to
trade against the ruble on the Moscow Interbank
December 2011 (2011-12):
Japan unveil plans to
exchange each others' currencies directly
June 2012 (2012-06): The renminbi begins to trade against
Japanese yen in Tokyo and Shanghai
10 April 2013 (2013-04-10): The renminbi begins to
trade against the
Australian dollar on the Australian foreign exchange
June 2013 (2013-06): The
Bank of England
Bank of England signs a currency
swap agreement with the PBOC for ¥200 billion
On 15 October 2013, the British
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer George
Osborne announces that the pound sterling and the renminbi will be
traded directly in
London and Shanghai.
August 2013 (2013-08): The renminbi becomes the world's 8th
most widely traded currency
October 2013 (2013-10): The
European Central Bank
European Central Bank signs a
currency swap agreement with the PBOC for ¥350 billion
January 2015 (2015-01): The renminbi becomes the world's 5th
most widely traded currency
October 2015 (2015-10): The
China International Payments
System (CIPS) is launched
30 November 2015 (2015-11-30): The International
Monetary Fund decided that the
Renminbi (10.92%) will be added to the
Special drawing rights (SDR)'s basket effective 1 October 2016
Before 2009, the Chinese renminbi had little to no exposure in the
international markets because of strict government controls by the
central Chinese government that prohibited almost all export of the
currency, or use of it in international transactions. Transactions
between Chinese companies and a foreign entity were generally
denominated in US dollars. With Chinese companies unable to hold US
dollars and foreign companies unable to hold Chinese yuan, all
transactions would go through the People's Bank of China. Once the sum
was paid by the foreign party in dollars, the central bank would pass
the settlement in renminbi to the Chinese company at the
state-controlled exchange rate.
In June 2009 the Chinese officials announced a pilot scheme where
business and trade transactions were allowed between limited
Guangdong province and Shanghai, and only counterparties
in Hong Kong, Macau, and select
ASEAN nations. Proving a success,
the program was further extended to 20 Chinese provinces and
counterparties internationally in July 2010, and in September 2011 it
was announced that the remaining 11 Chinese provinces would be
In steps intended to establish the renminbi as an international
China has agreements with Russia, Vietnam, Sri
Lanka, Thailand, and Japan, allowing trade with those countries to be
settled directly in renminbi instead of requiring conversion to US
South Africa to follow
International reserve currency
Currency restrictions regarding renminbi denominated bank deposits and
financial products were greatly liberalized in July 2010. In 2010
renminbi denominated bonds were reported to have been purchased by
Malaysia's central bank and that
McDonald's had issued renminbi
denominated corporate bonds through
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank of Hong
Kong. Such liberalization allows the yuan to look more attractive
as it can be held with higher return on investment yields, whereas
previously that yield was virtually none. Nevertheless, some national
banks such as Bank of
Thailand (BOT) have expressed a serious concern
about RMB since BOT cannot substitute the deprecated US dollars in its
US$200 billion foreign exchange reserves for renminbi as much as it
The Chinese government has not taken full responsibilities and
commitments on economic affairs at global levels.
Renminbi still has not become well-liquidated (fully convertible) yet.
The Chinese government still lacks deep and wide vision about how to
perform fund-raising to handle international loans at global
To meet IMF requirements,
China gave up some of its tight control over
Countries that are left-leaning in the political spectrum had already
begun to use the renminbi as an alternative reserve currency to the
United States dollar; the
Central Bank of Chile
Central Bank of Chile reported in 2011 to
have US$91 million worth of renminbi in reserves, and the president of
the Central Bank of Venezuela, Nelson Merentes, made statements in
favour of the renminbi following the announcement of reserve
withdrawals from Europe and the United States.
Use as a currency outside mainland China
The two special administrative regions,
Hong Kong and Macau, have
their own respective currencies, according to the "one country, two
systems" principle and the basic laws of the two territories.
Hong Kong dollar and the
Macanese pataca remain the
legal tenders in the two territories, and renminbi, although sometimes
accepted, is not legal tender. Banks in
Hong Kong allow people to
maintain accounts in RMB. Because of changes in legislation in
July 2010, many banks around the world are now slowly offering
individuals the chance to hold deposits in Chinese renminbi.
The RMB had a presence in
Macau even before the 1999 return to the
People's Republic of
China from Portugal. Banks in
Macau can issue
credit cards based on the renminbi, but not loans. Renminbi-based
credit cards cannot be used in Macau's casinos.
The Republic of China, which governs Taiwan, believes wide usage of
the renminbi would create an underground economy and undermine its
sovereignty. Tourists are allowed to bring in up to ¥20,000 when
visiting Taiwan. These renminbi must be converted to the New Taiwan
dollar at trial exchange sites in Matsu and Kinmen. The Chen
Shui-bian administration insisted that it would not allow full
convertibility until the mainland signs a bilateral foreign exchange
settlement agreement, though president
Ma Ying-jeou has pledged to
allow full convertibility as soon as possible.
The renminbi circulates in some of China's neighbors, such as
Pakistan, Mongolia and northern Thailand. Cambodia
welcomes the renminbi as an official currency and
Laos and Myanmar
allow it in border provinces such as Wa and
Kokang and economic zones
like Mandalay. Though unofficial,
Vietnam recognizes the exchange
of the renminbi to the đồng.
Since 2007, RMB-nominated bonds are issued outside mainland China;
these are colloquially called "dim sum bonds". In April 2011, the
first initial public offering denominated in renminbi occurred in Hong
Kong, when the Chinese property investment trust Hui Xian raised
¥10.48 billion ($1.6 billion) in its IPO.
Beijing has allowed
renminbi-denominated financial markets to develop in
Hong Kong as part
of the effort to internationalise the renminbi.
Renminbi promotion at the China-CEEC 2017 summit
Since currency flows in and out of mainland
China are still
restricted, RMB traded in off-shore markets, such as the Hong Kong
market, can have a different value to RMB traded on the mainland. The
offshore RMB market is usually denoted as CNH, but there is another
RMB interbank and spot market in
Taiwan for domestic trading known as
Other RMB markets include the dollar-settled non-deliverable forward
(NDF), and the trade-settlement exchange rate (CNT).
Note that the two CNT mentioned above are different from each other.
Current exchange rates
Current CNY exchange rates
From Google Finance:
AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR RUB
From Yahoo! Finance:
AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR RUB
AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR RUB
AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR RUB
AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR RUB
China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation (CBPMC)
Chinese lunar coins
Economy of China
List of renminbi exchange rates
Tibetan coins and currency
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