Chinese Yuan_flag

Chinese Yuan

The official currency of the People's Republic of China is the Chinese Yuan, often denoted as CNY when used within mainland China and CNH when used offshore. It's regulated by the People's Bank of China (PBOC). The currency code is CNY/CNH, and the symbol is ¥ or 元.

While both CNY and CNH refer to the Chinese Yuan, they are used in different trade markets and have different values.

The CNY, or the onshore Yuan, is used within mainland China and its value is tightly controlled by the PBOC. The PBOC sets a daily reference rate for the CNY and allows it to trade within a narrow band of this reference rate. This arrangement helps maintain the stability of the CNY and shields it from extreme volatility. However, the controlled nature of the CNY also means that it is not freely convertible and its use is restricted in international transactions.

On the other hand, the CNH, or the offshore Yuan, is used outside mainland China, mainly in Hong Kong, but also in other global financial centres like London and Singapore. The CNH is not directly controlled by the PBOC, and its value is determined by market forces in the offshore market. This means the CNH can deviate significantly from the CNY, reflecting market sentiment towards the Chinese economy.



Exchange rate regime:Managed Float

Did you know?

China's Monetary Policy


China's monetary policy is directed by the PBOC. The PBOC's main goals are to maintain currency stability, promote economic growth, and prevent financial risks. The PBOC uses multiple policy instruments, including interest rates, reserve requirements, and open market operations.


The Chinese Yuan is divided into 10 jiao or 100 fen. Coins are minted in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 fen, as well as 1 and 2 yuan. Banknotes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 yuan.


Chinese banknotes typically feature the portrait of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People's Republic of China, on the obverse, while the reverse shows various culturally significant landmarks.


Economists often note that China's management of its currency is unique. While the CNY is not freely convertible, the CNH was introduced to allow for freer international trade and investment. However, they also note that the PBOC's control over the exchange rate can lead to economic imbalances.


The PBOC is responsible for the regulation of the CNY/CNH. It oversees the issuance and distribution of the currency and manages its exchange rate. The PBOC also plays a significant role in maintaining the stability and integrity of the financial system, including implementing measures against money laundering and financial fraud.

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Important information

Payments in CNY to China

Key considerations to bear in mind


Payment instructions should contain the beneficiary's IBAN, name, and address.


Payment Processing Time

The time taken for a payment to reach the recipient's bank account can vary. Domestic transfers within China are typically processed quickly, while international transfers may take a few business days. Consider the processing time when planning your payment to ensure timely delivery. The iBanFirst Payment Tracker can help you track those payments, and ensure a smooth and efficient payment experience.


Fees and Charges

Banks and financial institutions may apply fees and charges when processing international payments. These fees can vary, so it is advisable to check with your bank to understand the charges associated with your transaction. Check out iBanFirst’s Savings Calculator to estimate how much you could save on your next international payment.

Keep in mind

Bank holidays



New Year's Day



Labour Day

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival

Date varies, usually late January or February

Qingming Festival

4 or 5 April

Dragon Boat Festival

5th day of the 5th lunar month, usually in June

Mid-Autumn Festival

15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually in September

National Day

1st October, followed by a week's holiday


Currency Reference Guide

Get the full currency reference guide, updated by the iBanFirst currency market experts.

iBanFirst S.A. is duly authorised and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium (under CBE number 0849.872.824) as a payment institution. It is a direct member of the SWIFT network and is certified to make payments throughout the SEPA zone. As a payment institution, iBanFirst S.A. only offers hedging solutions (forward, flexible forward and dynamic forward) connected to underlying payment transactions. iBanFirst S.A. does not offer options or any other financial instruments for investment or speculative purposes.