The Renminbi
人民币 (rén mín bì) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. Often referred to simply as ‘RMB,’ this currency was introduced by the Communist party in 1949 and translates to ‘the People’s Currency.’ To date, the most commonly used RMB banknotes are 0.5, one, five, ten, twenty, fifty and one hundred, though 0.1, 0.2 and two RMB banknotes can be found from time to time. Chinese currency also includes three coins: 0.1, 0.5 and one RMB. For anyone studying, traveling or working in China, remember that banks generally hand out one hundred RMB bills, so it’s normal for servers, shop owners or taxi drivers to help give you change.

Chinese RMB Renminbi

If you’re learning Chinese or follow economics, you may also have heard of the yuán 元 or CNY, which measures an RMB unit. Prior to the Republican era, this word was first used to name the silver Spanish dollar coins that circulated in China during the mercantile age. In the language today, it’s common to say that something costs one or one hundred yuan. Other colloquial terms like 块 (kuài) – think of it like the American ‘buck’ or English ‘quid’ – are used daily. For example, a nice meal out for two may cost 一百块 (yì bǎi kuài) or 一百块钱 (yì bǎi kuài qián).

Do you want to know the current exchange rate? This link will provide you with the current value of 1 US Dollar to Chinese RMB.



1.人民币rén mín bìRMB, China’s official currency
2.yuánCNY, one unit of RMB
3.一百块yì bǎi kuàione hundred yuan
4.一百块钱yì bǎi kuài qiánone hundred yuan (literally. one hundred dollars money)
5.kuàicolloquial word for yuan
6.jiǎo1/10 of one yuan (written use)
7.máo1/10 of one yuan (colloquial use)
8.fēn1/100 of one yuan
10.零钱líng qiánsmall change
11.便宜pián yicheap


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