So you’ve been in China for a while and somehow you’ve managed to make a budget that allows you to save money. Congratulations! The question now, however, is what to do with that money and ultimately, how to get that money out of China. Here are a few options, some more mafan (troublesome) than others.
This is a bit of a complicated process, but it can be done entirely online, and signing up for the required accounts isn’t as daunting as it first seems. Let’s assume you get paid directly into a Chinese bank. Using that bank (or sending it first to Alipay), you can buy Ethereum or Bitcoin online – I’d suggest localbitcoins or localethereum.com.
Once the transaction is complete, send those coins to a site, such as Coinbase, that lets you withdraw funds to your foreign bank. After the coins are on that site, simply sell them for USD, which can be directly deposited into your foreign bank account. You’ll lose a few dollars in transactions fees, but it’s an easy way to get your money out of China without ever leaving the couch.
This process means dealing with Chinese banks, which is never easy. First, you’ll need to get all your RMB converted into the currency you’re going to wire. You’ll also need the routing and account numbers of where you’re sending the cash.
With all that info in hand, the bank will be able to facilitate the rest, in theory. Just be careful of the rules of your home country. For example, for Americans, any amount over USD10,000 might be flagged with the IRS if that money isn’t later accounted for in your taxes.
Am I condoning legal behavior? Absolutely not. Is this an option? Absolutely. There’s no point in mailing RMB, so first convert it to something else, preferably the local currency of wherever you’re sending it. Then, wrap it up in something — hide it in a book, I don’t know — just make sure it’s not out in the open. Next, take it to China Post and ship it off. Alternately, and more safely, send it via DHL or SF.
Is this technically illegal? Yes, shipping currency is illegal. However, once it makes it through China Post and is sealed up, the box won’t be opened again and your cash will arrive safely at its destination, or so I’m told. Be aware, however, that this method is the most risky and, depending on whether you use China Post or a shipping company, might take the longest.
One of the most surefire ways to get your money out of China is to physically take it with you, or give it to someone you trust who is headed back to your home country. Assuming you’re rolling in the dough, be aware that the limit for US flights is USD10,000 – otherwise you’ll have to declare it and the IRS will be all over you.
If you’re thinking about this option, get ready to fill out forms. Basically, you’ve got to have someone go to a WU location in your home country and enter the code you send them before they can receive the cash on your behalf. This person would then need to deposit it in your foreign bank account.
You’ll have to pay a fee and coordinate with someone in your home country to make the pickup. In addition, not all Chinese banks offer a Western Union service, so you’ll have to scout around and find one that does.
Many people forget that Elon Musk was a co-founder of Paypal, and 19 years later, it (and other similar services) are still a viable option for getting your cash out of China. Set up a Chinese Paypall account, connect a Chinese bank account, send your money to Paypal, then withdraw it into your foreign bank account. There will be transaction fees, so you’ll lose a few rambos, but otherwise it’s a relatively easy process.
No matter what route you choose to get your money out of China, you’re going to have to exchange it for another currency, and the daily limit for foreigners in China is USD500. Chinese citizens don’t have a daily limit, but their yearly limit is USD50,000, so try asking someone who has no need to use up their conversion limit if you need to exchange a large chunk at once.
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I'd also add Alipay in and by itself as a reasonable option, but it requires that you have a friend with a Chinese ID card that you can trust. The app can actually send money to foreign bank accounts but only allows accounts that are connected to a Chinese citizen to do it. The limit should be 10,000 RMB for every 24 hours. Other than those limitations, the cost is negligible, the exchange rates are fair, and time required is 3 bank days at most.
Jan 22, 2019 22:21 Report Abuse
Sorry to say your article is massively wrong.... especially the final paragraph ..... a change in the rules took place at least last year...perhaps earlier..... Chinese are not allowed to exchange $50,000 any longer it was reduced to the equivalent of 100,000RMB which in USD is around $15,000. furthermore as far as I know there's a limit when existing the country of 20,000RMB or it's converted currency equivalent around $3,000 USD..... added to this it is foolhardy at best to disclose illegal courses of action either suggesting or otherwise...... you're inviting trouble fr yourself and others too
Jan 22, 2019 19:01 Report Abuse