20+ Difference between RMB and Yuan

There are a lot of people talking about Chinese money nowadays. China’s mercantilist strategy of artificially undervaluing its currency against the U.S.

Dollar to provide its exporters an unfair pricing advantage is at the center of one of the most disputed topics affecting China today.

It defines the condition of one of the world’s major economic superpowers. The official name for China’s currency is the Chinese Yuan (CNY), but it’s also known as the People’s Renminbi (RMB).

Comparison Between RMB And YUAN

DefinitionThe Chinese currency is called the renminbi. People’s Money, or Ren Min Bi as it is more often known, is the meaning behind the RMB abbreviation. United States Dollar is an abbreviation for this. Remember that although Yuan is a functional currency unit, the RMB has a more formal meaning.Like the dollar is one of the units of the official currency, the yuan is one of the units of RMB. In addition to the Yuan, the RMB also uses the Fen Cent and the Jiao Dime. The pound is the most common denomination of British sterling.
SymbolThe People’s Bank of China abbreviates the Chinese Yuan as the RMB currency; nevertheless, in the worldwide financial business, the currency is also abbreviated as the CNY. RMB is an acronym for the Chinese word “renminbi,” which is the country’s official name.The Chinese character may be seen nearly everywhere in China, even though it serves as the official representation of the Yuan. This is because the character is used as the official crest of the Yuan government.
PurposeNot only is the Yuan the primary currency unit in China, but also in several other nations, most notably Taiwan, where it is also used. Taiwan is the most notable of these countries. These countries include Taiwan, which is one of them.Carry out your computations with the Yuan functioning as the primary unit of measurement. You will be in a position to hazard an educated wager on the overall amount of Yuan that will be required to pay for the purchase.
StatusThe Renminbi, which is China’s official currency, is recognized by a greater number of official institutions than the Yuan, which is not China’s official currency. This is because the People’s Bank of China does not issue the Yuan. This is because, in 1999, the Yuan was replaced by the Renminbi as China’s national currency.The Renminbi is used far more often than the Yuan in situations that are seen as being more appropriate for the employment of the Renminbi Yuan.

Major Difference Between RMB And YUAN

What exactly is RMB?

Communist party leaders established the People’s Bank of China and issued the first renminbi banknotes in December 1948, amid the height of the Chinese Civil War.

The new government in China brought the country’s fragmented economic system together under a single currency.

It was also a way for the new government to set itself apart from the old one, whose actions had contributed to the country’s hyperinflation crisis.

When the RMB was revalued in 1955, each new Yuan was equivalent to 10,000 old ones.

Internationalization: RMB

  • Before 2009, the Renminbi was largely shielded from the world markets by strong regulations instituted by the central Chinese government.
  • They forbade practically all currency exports or the use of the currency in overseas transactions. 
  • Usually, the U.S. dollar was used as the medium of exchange in business dealings between Chinese enterprises and any other country. 
  • Businesses in China would be unable to keep U.S. dollars, and businesses abroad would be unable to store Chinese Yuan; thus, all transactions would have to go via the People’s Bank. 
  • When the foreign party paid the amount in dollars, the central bank would convert it to Renminbi at the state-controlled exchange rate and then transfer the settlement.
  • It was reported in June 2009 that under a trial program, enterprises in Guangdong province and Shanghai might do limited commerce and trade with counterparties. 
  • Given the program’s success, it was expanded to cover 20 more Chinese provinces and overseas counterparties in July 2010, adding the remaining 11 provinces.
  • China is making moves to establish the Renminbi as an international reserve currency by signing agreements to settle trade in the Renminbi with Russia, Thailand, and Japan. 

What exactly is Yuan?

For everything spherical, the Mandarin Chinese character yuan is used. The silver Spanish dollars imported to Europe by merchants in the 17th and 18th centuries went by this name.

China’s first silver yuan coins were minted that year, 1889. Silver yuan coins and banknotes were circulated under the Qing Dynasty and the early Republican administration.

The New Taiwan Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar, and Macanese Pacata are just a few examples of modern-day Chinese-speaking regional currencies that all employ the traditional character of the Yuan.

Internationalization: Yuan

  • There are certain exceptions to the Yuan’s restrictions in China. 
  • In the years after the initiation of bilateral swap agreements in January 2009, the government engaged in them with 41 different countries. 
  • And although just 1.79 percent of worldwide payments were settled in the Renminbi as of May 2020, its internationalization index had risen to 5.02 by year’s end. 
  • The staggering growth of 54.2% from 2019 to 2021 was reported in the 2021 RMB Internationalization Report published by the International Monetary Institute (IMI). 
  • Because of China’s economic revival and the liberalization of the country’s financial sector, the Yuan has become the third most internationally traded currency.
  • More than half of China’s population uses mobile payments every three months, and the country is reportedly leading the world in the number of user members.
  • The significance of cell phones in this shift away from cash is thus clarified.
  • WeChat Pay’s push for the widespread use of Q.R. Codes in China since 2014 has also been a game-changer for the country as a whole.

Contrast Between RMB And YUAN


  • RMB – Just as the nation’s name, the People’s Republic of China, means “the land of the Chinese people,” so too makes the Renminbi, the money of China.

    The communist government of the People’s Republic of China established it as the official currency in 1949, and the People’s Bank of China has been issuing it ever since.

    The money now has a more “democratic” feel since it bears the country’s official name.
  • Yuan – Yuan, once used for silver and copper coinage, is pronounced as “kuài” in spoken Chinese and means “peace.” It is a monetary standard whose value is represented by paper currency notes.

    Notes in the following denominations are readily available: 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, and 100 yuan, as well as the smaller fen and jiao (in coins).

    One Yuan is equal to ten jiao, or one hundred fen. Like the US dollar, the Yuan is the unit of money in China.


  • RMB – In China, the only currency that may be spent legally is the Renminbi. Despite this, its utility should have been diminishing over time at this point.

    If a currency can no longer serve as a medium of exchange, then the value of the monetary units that make up that currency is useless.

    Customers cannot successfully manage their budgets because retailers cannot evaluate supply and demand accurately.
  • Yuan – The Yuan, not the Renminbi, is China’s official accounting unit; the Renminbi is only used for trading purposes.

    For the purposes of Chinese economics and accounting, one Chinese Yuan is equal to one unit of account, which is also frequently spelled numeraire.

    All of the other prices that make up an index or market for a currency are calculated relative to this one basic unit of account.


  • RMB – The Chinese Renminbi was introduced at the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. “the people’s money” is pinyin for the Chinese characters, and the abbreviation “RMB” is widely used across the world.

    Despite China’s historically strict monetary policy, recent policy reforms have slowly enabled the Yuan to rise in value. It is rapidly becoming one of the most widely used currencies in the world.
  • Yuan – In everyday life, you’re more likely to hear the phrase “yuan,” or Chinese Yuan, abbreviated CNY, represented by the Chinese character.

    This is because although the Renminbi is the currency’s name as a whole, the Yuan is the name of the individual units.

    The US dollar is the currency’s name, whereas the cent is the name of the smallest unit of account inside the US dollar.


  • RMB – The People’s Bank of China issued the first Renminbi in circulation in December 1948, over a decade before the People’s Republic of China was legally constituted.

    In the territories the Communists controlled, it replaced the many other currencies that had been in use.

    Initially, it was exclusively issued on paper. Hyperinflation, which had afflicted China in the closing years of the Kuomintang (KMT) period, was one of the first duties of the new administration.
  • Yuan – The Spanish dollar had been used across Southeast Asia since the 17th century when the Spanish colonized the Philippines and Guam.

    This dollar was the basis for the Yuan when it was introduced in 1889. It was broken down into a thousand dollars, a hundred fen, and ten jiao.

    It supplanted copper money and the different sycees, or ingots of silver. Tael was the currency used by Sycees. At that time, one Yuan was equal to 0.72 taels.

Comparison to dollar:

  • RMB – The Renminbi was revalued to $8.11 per dollar on a one-time basis when the peg was removed on July 21, 2005. At the time of writing, one euro costs 10.0706 yen.

    Under tremendous pressure from Washington, China made minor measures to enable its currency to rise for three years beginning in July 2005. Still, the peg was reinstituted informally when the financial crisis occurred.

    At the height of the financial crisis in July 2008, China’s-pegged’ its currency to the US dollar.
  • Yuan – Historically, the value and weight of a yuan were identical to those of the silver dollar in Spain.

    While the earliest yuan banknotes often had the transliteration “yuan” written on the back, the word “dollar” was also used sometimes throughout the Republican period (1911-1949).

    Though “New Taiwan dollar” is the more well-known English term for the currency of the Republic of China, “yuan” was the transliteration used on banknotes from 1949 to 1956. Today’s music does not include any transliteration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What led to China’s devaluation of its currency?

This action surprised many, who speculated that it was China’s last-ditch effort to increase its exports to prop up an economy that was expanding at the slowest pace it has in decades.

However, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) maintained that the devaluation was a necessary step in the process of reforming the economy to become more market-oriented.

Q2. Is the Renminbi a currency that is used in several different countries?

Authorities and experts believe that elevating the reputation of the Renminbi as a critical global reserve asset will further promote the accelerated march toward playing a more prominent role in the international financial governance system played by the Chinese currency.

This belief is based on the fact that elevating the reputation of the Renminbi as a critical global reserve asset has the potential to elevate the status of the ren.

Q3. Can Yuan replace the dollar?

Finding a good replacement for the dollar won’t be straightforward or quick, as shown by the experts’ conclusions on the topic.

On the other hand, they found data indicating that yuan reserves regularly expanded in countries with deeper commercial relations with China.

The increasing significance of the Yuan might make it a competitive option to the United States dollar as a currency in a world that is described as “multipolar.”

Q4. What is the significance of the name “yuan”?

The phrase “round item” or “round coin” is what the character yuán literally translates to when it’s used in Standard (Mandarin) Chinese.

During the time of the Qing Dynasty, the Qing people utilized silver money that was shaped like a sphere called the Yuan.

The traditional Chinese character that is used to write this phrase has been simplified so that it may be expressed using simplified characters.

The character literally means “beginning.” Casual settings often call for the usage of this character.

Q5. Is China the nation with the longest history that has been documented in the world?

An older student who had been on a mission and spent some time in China once said that Chinese history is “distant, repetitive, and obscure, and what’s worse is that there is too much of it.”

There is evidence of human habitation in China dating back 3,500 years, making it the nation with the oldest and most continuous history of any country in the world.

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