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Send Money To China

Whatever your reason to send money to China, it helps to know the various methods to use, how the recipients will get the money, and other crucial factors to bear in mind. Read the following sections for more on the best way to send money to China.

Updated: 28/09/2022
Read time: 21 minutes
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Understanding the Economy of China

China has the 2nd largest economy globally, behind the United States. Their economy is classified as a developing upper-middle class. The use of strategic 5-year plans and economic planning has ensured that China’s growth in recent decades is enormous. They have a GDP of $18.26 trillion and a GDP growth of 8% in 2021. 

The national currency of China is Renminbi, and at the time of writing, 1 CNY is equal to 0.16 USD. China has a massive export industry, and they manufacture a large number of products in almost every sector. The relatively low manufacturing costs mean suppliers worldwide source their products from China in reliably massive quantities. 

China’s money transfer service industry is well-developed, with several of the top specialist transfer services operating there. You can send money to China using top-tier companies like Wise and Azimo. 

How To Send Money To China

How to send money to China is a simple and easy process. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1

Find a Trusted Provider

Our comparison table for sending money to internationally looks at your specific transfer needs to and from any country in the world. Use this to find a provider that provides the best all-round service for you.
Step 2

Register with your chosen provider

Most providers will be completely free to sign up to, simply requiring your name, address and contact information. In most cases, you’ll also need to upload a picture of a valid photo ID to verify your identity.
Step 3

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In China

There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in China, but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about the best ways to send money to China.

Sending Money To China
Receiving Money In China

Ways to Send Money to China

There are several ways Chinese in the diaspora can send money home. However, the main channels are banks and online money transfer services.

International Wire Transfers

You can transfer money from your bank abroad to your family in China through inter-bank transfers. However, both of you must have bank accounts. If you transfer money from your bank to a local bank in China that is state-owned, regional, or rural, your transfer may cost more and take a long time to get to the recipient.

There are international banks and branches of foreign banks in China that you can send through. For instance, transferring through Citibank, Bank of Montreal, Bangkok Bank, Societe Generale, Banco Santander, and other international banks. All branches in China can give you faster times and lower transfer fees.

Typically, inter-bank transfers require that you visit the branch to initiate the transfers. Thanks to the internet, many banks now allow for online transfers. Customers who have a good standing with their banks can transfer money through phone calls.

Money Transfer Services

Apart from banks, money transfer service providers such as Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit, Xoom, Wise, Transfast, and Ria can help you move money to China in minutes.

You’ll first have to sign up for an account online before you transfer money using money transfer operators (MTOs).  The process is simple and takes a few minutes. After the account is set up, decide how you want to transfer the money and pay for your transfer.

There are three ways you can pay: using a debit card, a credit card, and a bank transfer. The credit card payment method is the fastest, and the bank debit method is the slowest. Once you’ve paid, you can send the money through the website or a mobile app. There is also the option of depositing and sending from in-store.

If you decide to send to your family or relatives in China from the online platform, there are two options you could use.

Bank Transfer – This method is similar to inter-bank transfers. However, it happens on the MTO platform. It is cheaper and faster than the traditional bank wire system. For instance, TransferWise can help you send to a UnionPay account in China within a few minutes. Bank transfers are the best way to send money to China and transfer large amounts.

Cash Pickup- Through this method, the Chinese in the diaspora can transfer money to their loved ones in China. The recipients collect the cash from any of the locations listed on the provider’s payout network. In partnership with the Bank of China, Western Union has 32,000+ agents nationwide.

Money transfer through the blockchain network has started gaining popularity. However, in 2017 China banned all digital currency exchanges from operating in the country. This move makes it illegal to send money to China using digital currencies like Bitcoin.

What’s Needed to Send Money to China

When sending money to your family, you’ll be required to provide some information. There might be slight variations in the information needed by each money transfer service. However, the following general list has everything you’ll need to send money to China.

  • Your government-issued Identity Card
  • The amount you want to send
  • The name of the recipient as indicated on their official documents
  • The address and phone number of the recipient
  • If sending through a bank transfer, you’ll need the recipient’s SWIFT code, bank name, branch, and account number

Depending on the circumstances, you may have to indicate the source of the money and the reason for sending it.

Common Reasons for Sending Money to China

Chinese in the diaspora have families and businesses back at home. They send money to support their loved ones or add capital to their businesses from time to time. Here are some of the top reasons why overseas Chinese send money home.

Basic Family Support

Families in rural China use remittances mainly to boost essential consumption. According to a study conducted on households receiving remittances, it was established that many of them use the money sent to buy food, clothing, and other basic supplies.

The study used propensity score matching in 6 provinces in rural China and found a strong relationship between remittances and consumptive investment. There are many money transfer services for sending money to family in China. 

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Housing

Chinese in the diaspora have increasingly been taking up mortgages from banks such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and many others. The real estate market has also witnessed increased inflows from overseas Chinese. Some of the houses are for family occupation, while others are for commercial interests.

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Debt Repayment

Apart from mortgages, remittances can be directed towards other debt repayments. They could be aged debts taken before the emigrant left or debts incurred on a rolling basis to bridge consumption and other needs.

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Education

China has a mixture of national and international schools. Most immigrants want the best for their children and family members. As a result, they enroll them in international schools.

Rural households in China may not necessarily be looking at enrolling their children in international schools but may use the remittances to enhance skill levels for their school-going children.

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Healthcare Needs

Healthcare in China comprises both public and private medical institutions. The population largely benefits from basic health insurance. However, for top-end medical care, individuals must be willing to spend more money. Families with their loved ones in the diaspora have been found to have better health outcomes.

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Savings and Investments

The Chinese have a strong work culture. They follow maxims that encourage them to save and invest both abroad and back at home. Some of the investments are in physical assets and others in financial assets like equity and fixed-income investments.

Households in rural China invest heavily in farming and other agriculture-based businesses.

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Social Contributions

Chinese, much like most Asian families, love family and social life. Therefore, the annual festivals, weddings, and other social gatherings in China attract a lot of participation from both the local and diaspora populations.

Remittances often increase during festivals such as the Chinese Spring Festival, Duanwu Festival, and Qixi Festival festival.

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Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

With China gradually opening up to the world, money transfer service providers such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Wise, and Xoom are spreading their wings in the country.

If you’ve never found a reason to use a money transfer service to send money to China, below are some benefits you’ll find interesting.

Faster Transfer Speeds

Transferring money to China is no longer a waiting game. Money transfer service providers can help you send to your loved ones in minutes. When funding your transfer, use a debit or credit card for even faster speeds. Bank transfers may take up to three days.

Low-Cost Transfers

On average, money transfer service providers are way cheaper compared to traditional remittance channels. There are two cost elements: third party charges and provider fees. The third-party charges are mostly from card-issuers. Generally, money transfer services bill their clients on a percentage basis. MTOs leverage a large number of transactions to lower the cost of sending per transaction.

Easy To Set Up

Signing up for an account, paying for your transfer, and sending to loved ones is such a simple process with money transfer service providers. It takes a few minutes to set up online. On the contrary, banks and other traditional remittance channels require more information and take longer to set up.

Favourable Exchange Rates

MTOs use the mid-market rate in translating currencies. This rate falls exactly midway between the Buy and Sell exchange rates. It is fair and has no hidden fees or overheads. What you get is more of the Chinese Yuan (CYN) per unit of the source currency.

Geographical Spread

Whether you are sending to your loved ones in Heilongjiang Province or Zengmu'ansha in the south, money transfer service providers have an extensive payout network. Their agents are present even in the rural and remote parts of China.

Multicurrency Support

MTOs give overseas Chinese a simplified way to send money home. Some of the host countries have currencies that are not regularly traded on major exchanges. Ordinarily, this would pose a challenge when translating such currencies to the yuan. Thanks to the MTO multicurrency support platform, every Chinese in the diaspora can send money.

Things to Consider When Sending Money to China

Every time the Chinese economy is mentioned, the mind recalls the protracted battle with the United States. As a result, currency movements have been volatile on both ends. This development and many others are worth considering when you are transferring money to China:

  • Currency Instabilities – The trade wars and disputes between the United States and China have brought the Yuan into the limelight. In fact, economic analysts argue that the People’s Bank of China could be using the currency as a weapon to undermine the bilateral trade with the United States. However, as the yuan goes down against the dollar, Chinese in the diaspora are getting better deals when sending money to their families back home. 
  • The Remittance Limit – There are no transfer limits for both residents and non-residents sent to China. However, sending money from China to other countries is subject to a limit of $50,000. These measures are part of China’s money laundering and terrorism financing controls.

China has yet to open up all its doors to allow every money transfer company to operate. With that said, nothing is stopping you from maximizing the available money transfer services on the Chinese remittance corridor. The information in the sections above will go a long way in helping you get a handle on what it entails to send money to China.

Top 3 companies for sending money to China

Reducing your list of companies for sending money to China can be challenging because there are many good choices. Therefore, to help you save time, we have researched the best international money transfer companies and have chosen three excellent options for sending money to China. 

1. Wise

Wise is an industry-leading company for sending money worldwide. They have a good reputation and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Customers love the transparency of their fees and FX rates. It helps them compare different transfer methods to find the best deal. 

Their balance transfers allow recipients to get funds instantly. Also, the notification system keeps the sender and recipient informed of the transaction progress. Wise also provides physical and digital cards for making online payments. The physical card offers free cash withdrawal in some countries up to a specific limit. 

2. Azimo

Azimo is a simple and interactive platform for sending money to China. Therefore, new customers can quickly learn the process of sending and receiving money. The competitive currency exchange rates and low fees allow customers to save money compared to banks. The difference in fees is substantial for customers that execute multiple transfers per year. 

The multi-lingual support of Azimo includes eight languages, which are Russian, English, Polish, Italian, French, Romanian, Portuguese and Spanish. Also, they offer live chat, which response day or night. The high worldwide coverage of 200 countries is handy for when your transfer needs change since you can send money almost anywhere. 

3. WorldRemit

Sending money to China with WorldRemit is an easy process that takes a few moments once you have opened an account. Also, money will arrive within 3 minutes in most cases. WorldRemit offers its service to over 130 countries, and China is among them. They have 30,000 agent locations around the world that can be used for cash pickups. 

Flexible payment options mean customers can pay for transfers using debit cards, credit cards, or bank transfers. Also, multiple payout options exist, which allows recipients to get their hands on cash in various ways. However, WorldRemit is not ideal for large transfers because of its caps.

Your Questions Answered

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Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else? 

Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to China. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

Jonathan Merry

Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com