GoKunming Forums

Transferring cash out of China

Charles Taylor (10 posts) • 0

Hi there,

Was just wondering what people find is the best and most efficient way to get cash money into a German or English bank account?

Is PayPal working still? I have a friend that is struggling with it.

Much appreciated, take it easy.

michael2015 (784 posts) • 0

Paypal works but is only economical up to about USD 10k - then it's a wash regarding the bank fees vs Paypal's fees.

To transfer OUT of China, you need to sign up for Paypal China and link it to your chinese bank account.

Then transfer money to your international PayPal account. Transferring funds to yourself and having to pay for the convenience is however, rather annoying.

Alternatively, you can theoretically open a bank account at an international Chinese bank (eg China Construction Bank) overseas - and theoretically transfer funds between accounts with considerably less transaction fees...but you'd have to ask your local Chinese bank (main branch - local branches clueless...and the main branch may be clueless as well).

HSBC had this service a long time ago - but their bank account requirements in China are ludicrous.

cloudtrapezer (756 posts) • 0

Surely to change RMB into a foreign currency and transfer it out of China you have to show quite a lot of paperwork e.g payslips tax certificates or similar? I did this through HSBC ages ago. A real pain. And by the way I'd rate HSBC easily the worst bank I've ever used.

GoK Moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Something to be aware of is that foreign banks in China are very heavily regulated. Much more regulated than local banks.

It might be worth Checking what the Hang Seng bank can offer. They are a Hong Kong bank, that have a branch in Kunming. NB HSBC in Kunming does not do personal banking, only corporate banking.

OceanOcean (1193 posts) • 0

Chinese citizens have less paperwork and higher limits for transferring money abroad than foreigners do, So if you know someone you trust....

herenow (357 posts) • 0

Paypal is notorious for freezing funds indefinitely if something about a particular account or transaction strikes them (or is flagged by one of their algorithms) as suspicious. Some people have had to file lawsuits or gin up press coverage in order to get their money released. Although the risk is relatively small, don't entrust any funds to them which you can't afford to be without for an extended period.

Wire transfers at Bank of China cost 150 RMB (plus any fee charged by the receiving bank) but are secure & reliable in my experience. You have to go to the main branch at the intersection of Beijing Lu & Renmin Lu.

Xiefei (539 posts) • +1

Your Chinese bank account can handle wire transfers to any international bank account, but you need to provide the documentation. As a foreigner, you need to show proof that the money was legally earned and taxed in China. This can be provided by your employer's HR, or your CPA if you're a business owner. Chinese citizens can also transfer up to 50k USD per year with much less hassle.

Wire transfer is good for large amounts of money (from about 1000 USD up), because it is generally a flat rate of about 150 RMB per transfer.

The fees are for using the SWIFT system, and will be charged whether or not you open an account with a sister branch abroad. A Bank of China account overseas is, for all intents and purposes, the same as having an account with any foreign bank. There's no advantage there.

Simply pulling the money out at an overseas ATM from your Chinese bank card can actually be quite cheap. I just pulled 1000 USD in the states the other day, and between the fees and exchange rate, it cost me about 70 kuai. I've heard of people mailing a bank card home to friends or relatives to withdraw money using this method. Note that there is theoretically a limit of 100k CNY a year for this method, regardless of citizenship or employment status.

I haven't tried Paypal or Moneygram, but every legal method in China will be subject either to the 100k CNY annual limit, or the same documentation requirements described above. It really just comes down to cost and convenience.

herenow (357 posts) • 0

Documentation of income is only needed for wire transfers after you pass certain thresholds. I believe the threshold for the number of transfers is six over the course of a year, but I'm not certain so it would be best to check this with the bank.

To make transfers after the threshold is reached, if you're employed then you need to show the bank three documents: your current employment contract, a certificate of monthly income (收入证明) from your employer, and a tax payment certificate (税收完税证明) from the government tax office.

ricsnapricsnap (193 posts) • 0

You come just about one and half year late to the party. Before you could transfer any sum by blockchain and most likely earn money on top of ludricous fees, during that 20 minutes or half an hour of transfer time. Then the government banned bitcoin exchange markets and the financial bubble burst, while probably no-one in this forum used this system, and kept on asking back then on the best way to be screwed the least by any banker.

So, all in all, I don't blame people traveling back home with big sums of cash, if it is for avoiding feeding up a sick financial system made up of intermediary usurers.
If it is for hiding money away from being regularly taxed, of course they are to be blamed, though.

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