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Money Matters

Chinese Currency
The Chinese currency is called renminbi (people's currency) and is often abbreviated to RMB. The basic unit is Yuan. Ten Jiao make one Yuan; ten Fen make one Jiao. Chinese currency consists of paper notes and hard coins.
Carrying Money
For a trip to China and the Far East, it is better to carry money in combinations of US cash, traveler checks and credit cards. A money belt or pocket sewn inside your clothes is the safest way to carry money. Velcro tabs sewn to seal your pockets shut will also help thwart roving hands.
Traveler's Checks
Checks from most of the world's leading banks and issuing agencies are accepted in China. Traveler's checks can be cashed at banks, major hotels and department stores. Your passport is always required when you are cashing traveler's checks.
US dollars are good for the purpose of tips and small purchases. Many businesses in the urban areas will take dollars, but in more remote areas you will need to have RMB.
Using your ATM card is an excellent way to get cash in China. ATMs are available in most cities and airports in China. Money is issued in the local currency. Except in Hong Kong and Macao, having money sent to you, via an international money transfer, in China is a time-consuming and frustrating task that is best avoided.
Credit Cards
All major cards such as Visa, Master Card, American Express, JCB and Diners Club are readily accepted in major tourist cities. They can be used in most mid-range to top-end hotels (three-star and up), Friendship Stores and some department stores. Credit card cash advances are readily available at banks and ATM machines, even in places as remote as Lhasa. A 4% commission is generally deducted.
Bank Accounts
Foreigners can indeed open bank accounts in China, Both RMB and US dollar accounts (the latter only at special foreign exchange banks). You do not need to have resident status, a tourist visa is sufficient.

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