Understanding China’s currenc

Did you know? The renminbi (RMB) literally translates to mean “the people’s currency”, while the yuan(CNY) means “dollar” in Chinese.
What’s the difference between the Renminbi and Yuan?

  • Renminbi is China’s official currency
  • Yuan is a unit in the renminbi currency

Hence, it would be incorrect in Chinese to say something costs 100 renminbi – it should be 100 yuan instead. Just think of the pound vs. sterling.

However, most locals in China more commonly use the colloquial term of kuài (块) instead, which means “piece” – similar to “buck” and “quid”. So you can say “100 kuài”, which means “100 pieces of money”.

Here’s the full break down:

  • 1 yuán (元) or 1 kuài (块) = 1 dollar
  • 1 jiǎo (角) or 1 máo (毛) = 10 cents
  • 1 fēn (分) = 1 cent

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