Banking in China

Information on opening a bank account in China - what documents to provide - the credit and debit cards, payment methods, cheques and more...

Expatriates in China have several options when opening a bank account in the country. Opening a renminbi (Chinese currency) account is a relatively straightforward procedure, and allows foreigners to deposit and withdraw local currency in branches or through cash machines. It is also possible to open a multi-currency account if access to various currencies is required. However, these are slightly more complex to set up and have more restrictions, such as a higher initial deposit required and minimum balance.

The main international banks have a presence in the country. They are a practical option for foreigners who already have an account with one of these banks, or who need to open an account before travelling to China.

Cash remains the main form of payment in Chinese society, and payment by cheque or card is not as common as in the West. Debit and credit cards are accepted mainly by major retail and hospitality chains, as well as online. Wages are often paid in cash, which can then be deposited in a bank by the employee. As a result, finding a bank that has an easily accessible branch is useful.

Major Chinese Retail Banks

International banks in China