The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB or CNY) or in Chinese "Ren-min-bi". The basic unit is the yuan (also known as "kuai"), which equals 10 jiao (or "mao"), which is then 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 as they have no purchasing power. 1 yuan, 1 and 5 jiao, and 1, 2, and 5 fen coins are even common used in larger cities.
It is possible to exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter. Cash advances are available on most common credit/debit cards e.g. American Express/Visa/MasterCard, but this facility is available only from the main branch of the Bank of China in most Chinese cities. A fee of 3%-4% will apply. The Bank of China has an ATM network that will allow cash advances from major credit / debit cards and ATM cards. Check you credit card provider for this information before leaving your home country. You are required to present your passport to change money/travelers checks etc. Hotels will usually only allow you to change money if you are guest at the hotel. The RMB is not easily convertible on the international market so it is only usable in China. It is advisable to change only the money that you need for you trip as it may be difficult to change back to you preferred currency. RMB is now readily convertible in Hong Kong. You can convert unused RMB to another currency in China by producing the receipts for your original purchase of RMB in China. This exchange is done at the airport as you leave China. There is a foreign exchange black market but it is illegal.
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, JCB and American Express are accepted in major hotels and department stores. Check on the acceptance of your credit card before you purchase. Credit cards cannot be used in most restaurants or small convenience stores. Air Travel could be purchased with credit cards. Credit cards can be used to get a cash advance in the main offices of the Bank of China.
Money Wire Transfer
Wire Transfer using a service called Money Transfer is available and is a joint venture between the China Courier Service Corporation and Western Union. This service allows instant money wiring to and from 100 countries.
Although the Government is trying to eradicate this practice there are still some problems with the use of counterfeit money, although the problem is decreasing. It is very common practice for those who are receiving money to check its authenticity. Do not be offended by this practice. It is not a reflection on your character.
The Chinese currency is currently fixed to the value of the US Dollar, so as the value of US Dollar changes on international currency market, the relationship between the Chinese Renminbi and the US Dollar remain the same. Some countries say that this does not give a true indication of the strength of the Chinese currency internationally and there is pressure on China to change the current relationship to the US Dollar.