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Time and Money
2005-07-25 16:40:52

Time Zone

All of China is in the same time zone: GMT+8 hours, 13 hours ahead of New York, and 2 hours behind Melbourne. China uses Beijing time as the standard time for the entire nation.

China's Currency

China's official currency is the Renminbi (RMB) or "people's currency." The basic unit is the yuan (also sometimes less formally called "kuai"), which is equal 10 jiao (or "mao"), which can then be divided into 10 fen. Paper currency comes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 yuan notes. Paper Jiao come in denominations of 1, 2, and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes, but these are rarely used outside of bank transactions due to their low monetary value. As for coins, there are 1 yuan; 1 and 5 jiao; and 1, 2, and 5 fen (again, the fen is basically useless).

Foreign Currency Exchange

You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter. To change money, you need to have your passport with you. You can also get a cash advance on your Aerican Express, Mastercard or Visa card, but for this you need to go to the Bank of China headquarters at Fuchengmen or the branch in the Asia-Pacific Building (Ya Tai Da Sha) on Yabao Lu.

Keep in mind that the RMB is not exchangeable on the international market, so it is only usable within China. Try not to change too much money, as it is difficult to change RMB back into other currencies. To change RMB back into your home currency, you must retain the exchange slip given to you at the bank or money exchange counter. Banks and money exchange counters will look at your exchange slip to make sure you will not leave China with more of your home currency than you came in with.

According to the current foreign exchange administration regulations of China, foreign currency is prohibited to circulate or purchase goods and services in the People's Republic of China. To facilitate foreign travelers and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan compatriots, the Bank of China and other appointed foreign exchange banks can handle foreign travelers checks and foreign credit cards. For the convenience of foreign travelers, some hotels, restaurants and shops can also exchange foreign currency to RMB. Any remaining RMB can be changed back to foreign currency with the foreign exchange receipt within the effective period of six months before exit. The exchange rate fluctuates according to market conditions. To exchange traveler checks, credit cards and remittance, the purchasing price is used. The selling price is taken to convert foreign currency including cash back to RMB. The cash purchasing price is used to exchange foreign cash to RMB cash.

Foreign Credit Card Commissioned in China

Today, the foreign credit cards that can be commissioned in China mainly include Master Card, Visa, American Express, JCB and Diners Card.

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