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Many sites give advice on how to purchase Chinese RMB with dollars, but none that I have found discuss what restrictions there are on individuals converting RMB to dollars in China. A few years ago there was a sharp limit on how many you could convert at one bank in one day. Can anyone tell me what the rules are now, or better, tell me a reliable source so I can keep track for myself in the future?

I expect go to a bank to do it. Or would it be better to buy a money transfer at Western Union?

  • indicative amount value of the RMB you want to convert? – Guido Preite Jul 6 '15 at 9:37
  • @GuidoPreite Over 5,000RMB, under 10,000. – Colin McLarty Jul 6 '15 at 9:39
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Chinese citizens have an yearly limitation on the foreign currencies they can acquire (50,000 USD) but looks like that foreigners are not allowed to acquire foreign currency.

Banks are instructed by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (http://www.safe.gov.cn/) to don't permit tourists to convert from RMB to their foreign currency (but they allow tourist to convert their foreign currency to RMB).

  • Thanks. But in 2007 there were daily, per bank limits, on what travellers could change at a bank. That would be a different law than the annual limits for Chinese citizens. – Colin McLarty Jul 6 '15 at 10:03
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    I will try to get more updated info about this – Guido Preite Jul 6 '15 at 10:16
  • I contacted a friend that works for a chinese bank and I updated my answer, so if they don't convert your RMB try to find a chinese citizen you can trust to help you or you need to change the money when you back to US or inside the airport – Guido Preite Jul 6 '15 at 13:58
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Bank of China just let me convert Renminbi to $500 US. They did not ask where I got the Renminbi, and in particular did not ask me to show withdrawal receipts for it.

They set a $500 limit. I did not ask if I could convert more tomorrow. But in 2007 you could even go to another bank the same day and convert another $500. I did that in 2007.

  • thanks for the update, looks like that there isn't a unique rule for this – Guido Preite Jul 14 '15 at 8:51
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I know this is a very old thread but just to clarify. There is a daily exchange limit of 500US$. This is limited to 50,000US$/year however I do not believe that this is possible to control. Exchanging in either direction. If you live and work in China you can provide your tax certificates to the bank to show how much you earn. In this case you can transfer as much as you earn.

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