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The history of the yuan today is of increasing interest from both currency investors and ordinary citizens. And this is quite understandable, since relations between China and Russia have developed quite warmly, commodity and raw material exchange is actively supported. In short, we cooperate with them in many areas and conduct large-scale cash settlements.

A lot of time has passed since the appearance of the yuan until today. This is a strong and fairly stable currency, which is the fifth reserve currency on the IMF list with a share of 10,9%. This is the third indicator after the US dollar and the euro. Moreover, analysts' forecasts give a clear understanding that the Chinese currency has every chance to improve its position.

She is predicted a bright future. Rumor has it that after some time the yuan will become a direct competitor to the US dollar. Therefore, this money causes not only interest, but also outright fear among the leaders of countries that do not have such close relations with China.

The real share of the yuan in the international banking system is 1,5% (according to mid-2016). And it is quite logical that as their position strengthens, this indicator is steadily growing. The inclusion of the Chinese currency in a special basket of drawing rights led to the fact that the world's central banks began to actively buy up the yuan, and large investors investing their capital in the Chinese stock market showed even greater activity. And this attracted several trillion dollars into the country's economy. The path to success for this currency was long enough. Many years have passed since that moment, but the yuan has not passed to the rank of world reserve currencies. However, this does not reduce the interest of other states in the yuan.

Interesting facts about the Chinese yuan

history of the chinese yuan

The name of this currency is translated as "circle" or "round coin". However, the word "yuan" is used exclusively outside of China. In the PRC itself, it is called "renminbi", which should be understood as "people's money".

The Chinese yuan has an international designation - CNY. The currency icon itself looks like the English capital letter Y, which has two crossbars based on ¥. 1 yuan is 10 jiao or 100 fen. Fen, in fact, is their local penny.

In cash circulation, denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan, as well as 1,2 and 5 jiao are used. And the first two are very rare. In addition to banknotes, coins are also issued in the country. Their denomination is:

  • 1 yuan;
  • 1 and 5 jiao;
  • 1,2 and 5 fans.

coin 1 chinese yuan

At the moment, the main banknotes in the territory of the state are issued after 1999 - the fifth series. The obverse of the paper yuan is decorated with a portrait of China's most famous and popular political leader, Mao Zedong. There are also flowers here. On the other side of the banknote, a Chinese landscape is printed. All paper money in China differ in color:

  • 1 yuan - olive;
  • 5 yuan - purple;
  • 10 yuan - blue;
  • 20 yuan - brown;
  • 50 yuan - green;
  • 100 yuan - red.

Below I will give examples of banknotes of different denominations that are currently circulating in the country.

1 Yuan

5 Yuan

10 Yuan

50 Yuan

100 Yuan

Modern coins have the year of minting in Arabic numerals, the denomination and the name of the bank. They are minted from different materials:

  • 1,2 and 5 fans are made of aluminum;
  • 1 yuan is made of nickel-plated steel;
  • 1 jiao is minted from aluminum alloy or nickel-plated steel;
  • 5 jiao are made of nickel plated with brass or pure brass (it all depends on the year the coin was put into circulation).

And now I will tell you how you can distinguish a real yuan from a fake. After all, banknote fraud is common in every country, regardless of the severity of the punishment for counterfeiting.

There are four ways to understand that you are holding real money in your hands:

  1. watermarks are clear and have a strictly defined contour;
  2. on banknotes of large denominations (50 and 100 yuan), the hair of the portrait of Mao Zedong is embossed, so you will feel the roughness, you can run your finger over it;
  3. if you look at the numbers depicting the denomination at a slight angle, then a blue halo will appear along the contour of the ornament;
  4. shine on the banknote with an ultraviolet lamp, it contains special threads that begin to glow in these rays.

Chinese yuan: history of origin

yuan coins

The first money appeared in this country as much as 4500 years ago. That is, as you understand, their history is very complex and eventful. But in those days, a variety of coins circulated in the country. For the first time, the local currency acquired a single form around the XNUMXrd century BC. Then they were copper coins with a square-shaped hole in the middle. It was very convenient to assemble them into a single bundle with a cord, which facilitated storage and calculation.

By the way, the first banknotes appeared only in the VIII century AD. It was then that paper was invented in China. Then the Chinese liang was also in use, which served as a measure of the weight of silver bars. It was they who calculated the merchants in ancient times. Liang is still used today, but only as a unit of weight (50 g).

Yuan appeared only in 1889. It became a convenient and unified means of payment, greatly facilitating trade and money relations within the state. However, this was only the beginning. The history of the emergence of the yuan has undergone a lot of very diverse events.


In 1911, the Xinhai Revolution begins. China becomes a republic, and each of the provinces that existed at that time declared its own independence and began issuing its own money.

To prevent financial chaos in the newly minted state, a decision was made to introduce a silver yuan-dollar. It was not much different from its predecessor, since the coins were minted on pre-revolutionary machines and practically according to the old "patterns". At the same time, silver prices begin to grow actively on the market, and a massive outflow of this precious metal from the country starts. Thus, there was a very sad prospect for the national currency that was in effect at that time.

In addition, during the period of revolutionary unrest, different banks printed a lot of a wide variety of money. Tibetan sangas, Japanese military yen, Manchurian gobi, and Xinjiang yuan were in circulation. Such a variety of currencies circulating in circulation seriously complicated the process of settlements within the state. And again, a decision was made on cardinal changes in the country's monetary policy.

In 1935, silver was no longer used for the manufacture of means of payment. Private ownership of this precious metal has also been abolished. From that moment, the issue of money fell entirely on four Chinese banks: the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications, the Peasant and the Central Bank. When World War II ended, many banks could issue local currency. The silver standard was completely eliminated.

Against the backdrop of an unstable economic situation in the country, strong inflation began. It led to the introduction of new denominations of much larger denominations:

  • in 1941, a banknote of 500 yuan appears;
  • in 1942 - 1000 and 2000 yuan;
  • in 1945, denominations of 2500 and 5000 yuan come into circulation;
  • in 1947, inflation in the country reached its peak, due to which a banknote of as much as 10000 yuan was issued;
  • in 1949, an inflationary record was set, a banknote of 5 million yuan was born.

In 1947, the ruling party of China begins preparations for the formation of the People's Bank. It officially opened the following year. All the money that at that time was in the hands of the population is already being exchanged for a single national Chinese currency - the renminbi. And this year can already be safely considered the birth of the modern yuan, which we know to this day.

After its inception, the Chinese national currency was pegged to the US dollar. Until the 70s of the last century, this rate was 2,46 to 1 (1 yuan was given for 2,46 dollar). The exclusive right to issue money in the country remained with the National Bank.

Modern history of Chinese money

The exchange of old means of payment for the new yuan is carried out until 1952. At first, the country's authorities could not even come to a consensus on how exactly the new Chinese money should be called. In November 1948, they were banknotes of the People's Bank of China. Already in December, the money became the currency and tickets of the People's Bank. Just a month later they began to be called people's tickets. And only in June 1949, the name "renminbi" became officially approved.

The new banknotes were printed in several series. The first one came out in 1948. It included 12 denominations of banknotes. The largest of them was a banknote of 50 thousand yuan. By the first release of the people's money, 64 types of designs had been developed. The subject matter was not varied. The artists used exclusively motifs that were familiar to the people of China - agricultural work, local transport, the most famous places in the country.

The second series began production in 1955. A certain amount of the money supply was printed in the USSR. But in 1964, due to border disputes between countries, this money was completely withdrawn from circulation. The issue of the second series of people's money was timed to coincide with the denomination procedure. As a result, 1 new yuan was equal to 10 thousand old ones. So slowly China began to get rid of the consequences of hyperinflation. Each new bill was printed with the inscription "People's Bank of China". It was written in the four main languages ​​of the state - Chinese, Mongolian, Uighur and Tibetan. The second series of banknotes was completely withdrawn from circulation in 2007.

The release of the next one began in 1962. And this money went exactly until the year 2000 inclusive. The fourth series entered circulation between 1987 and 1999. These bills still exist, but in much smaller quantities. Because they were replaced by modern multi-colored paper yuan with a portrait of Mao Zedong.

Currency pair yuan-US dollar

yuan dollar

So, I have already said that until the 70s of the 2,46th century, the rate of this pair was 1 to 80. In the XNUMXs, a large-scale economic reform will start in the country. Production begins to focus on the export of goods to other states. At the same time, price dumping begins (a strong reduction in price compared to the offers of direct competitors), since otherwise it was not possible for China to fully enter the world market.

As you can see, the country managed to achieve its goal. Today, Chinese-made goods have indeed won a huge share of the export segment. They are shipped to almost every country in the world. However, China itself had to make a very serious sacrifice - the depreciation of the national currency. And this caused a sharply negative reaction from many leaders of other states. The United States expressed its dissatisfaction most actively.

In 1994, the yuan-dollar currency pair fell to a record low of 8,62 to 1. The process of depreciation was halted by the Chinese leadership. The rate fixed at around 8,28 yuan per 1 US dollar.

However, the countries that are world leaders in economic relations continued to put pressure on China. Japan, the US and the EU believe that such a rate is artificially low, and therefore its liberalization is required. China's response was quite competent and adequate. In 2005, the yuan is pegged to the currency basket. As a result of such manipulation, the value of the national currency increases by 2%. The Chinese government believes that such a step made it possible to make the course more flexible without creating a significant threat to the domestic economy of the state.

Already in 2013, the yuan is in the top 10 most quoted world currencies. It is also becoming one of the most stable monetary units. In just 8 months of 2015, the Chinese yuan has become the main means of payment for settlements with countries that are part of the Asia-Pacific region. This happened for the first time in the history of the existence of this currency. There have also been some changes in the international market. The yuan managed to push the Japanese yen itself. It took the fourth position, and its share in global calculations was 2,79%. Against the background of such amazing results, one of the most significant events in the history of the yuan occurred. The IMF included this currency in the reserve basket.

Currency pair yuan-ruble

yuan ruble

In modern realities in Russia, the Chinese national currency is also becoming more and more in demand. And it is necessary not only for people traveling to China. Due to its stability and reliability, as well as the high potential of the issuing country itself, many large and private investors consider the yuan as a profitable asset for saving capital. It is expected that in the areas of corporate banking and trade finance, this currency will gain popularity even more actively.

So far, very few credit organizations of the Russian Federation offer to open a deposit in yuan. To date, this can be done at VTB24, Rosbank, Alfa-Bank and the Far Eastern Bank Primorye. It is quite logical that in Russia they are very wary of the use of exotic foreign means of payment. Here, the inertial traditions of saving money in the national currency are of great power. And in many respects they developed due to the instability of the ruble exchange rate, as well as strong fluctuations in the sphere of political relations with other states. However, experts are confident that in the near future the yuan-ruble currency pair may become a common store of value among all segments of the population.

Digital yuan - what is it and how can it be used

digital yuan

Virtual monetary assets have emerged relatively recently, but quickly gained incredible popularity. It all started with the well-known Bitcoin. The main feature of classic crypto money is the lack of control over their release and circulation by the state. That is, the rate of the digital currency is in no way tied to the standard gold and foreign exchange reserves of the country. Such coins do not feel the political and economic pressure. The decentralized means of payment has long been called the world's future.

However, not everything is so smooth. Many countries immediately tightened their policies regarding the use of cryptocurrencies on their territory, justifying their radical steps by the fact that it is very easy to finance prohibited transactions and organizations through anonymous payments. In fact, most government officials simply do not like the lack of control over such money.

China has not bypassed the issue of cryptocurrency either. Even before the virtual coin hype began in 2017, the state immediately took the position of an influential player in the digital asset industry. The country is filled with miners. Special equipment was actively produced, with the help of which it was possible to create new links in the blockchain, thereby earning bitcoins.

However, the ending of this story was obvious. Very soon, the PRC leadership, sensing a threat from virtual coins, completely banned the use of any decentralized anonymous currency on its territory. Of course, it would still be impossible to avoid progress.

In October 2020, the digital yuan saw the light for the first time, which became the first official virtual alternative to real money in circulation in the country. At the same time, no one is going to cancel payment with classic banknotes and coins.

The project has been extensively tested. Approximately 50 Chinese citizens received 200 virtual currency units (about $30). They were downloaded in a specially created mobile application, for access to which people were sent an individual invitation. At that time, it was possible to pay with this money in only 3 thousand outlets across the country - retail stores, cafes and taxis.

Testing was successful. Therefore, in 2021, the digital yuan has already entered the masses widely. Now you can pay with this coin not only using a mobile application, but also smart watches and bracelets. Technology is constantly being improved to make it as convenient for every citizen to use it.

china bank e-cny card

What is the main difference between the digital yuan and the classic cryptocurrency? First of all, it's just an analogue of their local currency. It is also issued by the Central Bank of China and has a rate. If the value of a cryptocurrency directly depends on its popularity among investors, then the digital yuan is tied to its real counterpart. It is also subject to inflation. In fact, the digital yuan is a more convenient and modern analogue of coins and paper money.   

Each digital unit put into circulation has a unique identification. Therefore, such money can boast a very high degree of protection against falsification. All digital yuan are stored in the database of the Central Bank of China. Therefore, anonymity and decentralization are out of the question.

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