Chinese Currency


One dollar, several names

People get regularly confused about what to call Chinese money. In English you can refer to the Chinese dollar. In Chinese it has 3 common names and 2 symbols in use:

Renminbi 人民币 means People's Currency and is abbreviated RMB (Renminbi). Yuan 元 means Dollar and is abbreviated CNY (Chinese Yuan). You will commonly hear people say "kuai", pronounced kwai, which is a more local word for Yuan and still means dollar. You can write CNY 1000 or RMB 1000 and both refer to 1000 Chinese dollars, there is no difference. To further confuse you there are two names for 1/10th of a Chinese dollar. It can be called one "mao" or "jiao". Both refer to the same thing. 1/10 of a dollar.

Below four 1-renminbi coins (yi yuan) and a 1 mao coin (yi jiao = 1/10 RMB):

Chinese coins currency money

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