The Chinese yuan renminbi, symbol ¥, code CNY, is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, an Asian nation of over 1.3 billion people. The Chinese yuan is the official currency of the Chinese mainland, but excludes the areas of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. The yuan is also accepted in areas of Mongolia, North Korea, and Burma. The yuan is subdivided into 10 fen, which are each divided in turn into 10 jiao. The word “yuan” literally means “round,” as in the shape of the currency’s coinage. The yuan renminbi is managed by the People’s Bank of China in Beijing.
The history of monetary Chinese currency dates back to 210 BC and the first emperor of China, who adopted holed copper coins as the empires official currency. These copper coins were used in the same format and in similar designs through the late 19th century, when the yuan of today was introduced. The first yuan banknotes were introduced in December of 1948, and saw five separate currency issues over the next several decades. The renminbi banknotes underwent reevaluation in 1955 with 1 new yuan equal to 10,000 old yuan. The yuan peg to the U.S. dollar was lifted in July 2005 and was repegged in 2008.
Since 2005, the yuan renminbi exchange rate has been allowed to float. The yuan renminbi is now on a managed floating system based on the supply and demand of several leading world currencies. In recent years, the fen and jiao have become less and less practical as retail prices increase and the use of decimal prices become less common. The yuan is moving toward becoming an international reserve currency, but is still not yet fully convertible, and thus cannot yet function as a reliable reserve currency.
Name: Chinese yuan renminbi
Decimal Unit: 1/10th fen, 1/100th jiao
Coins: ¥0.1, 0.5, and ¥1
Notes: ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20, ¥50, ¥100 and ¥2, (rarely used)
Central Bank: People’s Bank of China
Country(ies): China, some use in Mongolia, Burma, North Korea
The Chinese yuan renminbi currently circulates coins in the denominations of ¥0.1, 0.5, and ¥1. ¥0.01, 0.02, 0.05 coins exist but are rarely used or seen in circulation. Yuan banknotes are in circulation in values of ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥20, ¥50, ¥100 with rarely used ¥.2 and ¥2. Each yuan banknote is a different size and color for each denomination.