The political system in USA?
To connect PayPal to a Chinese bank account, you MUST register and use PayPal China, which does NOT require a VPN.
What about Wechat or Ali-pay?
@michael2015: I can confirm that, as I have that setup in place myself.
I take your post's use of upper-case letters to indicate that you intend it as a counterpoint vis a vis my earlier post, but I don't see any inconsistency. What you wrote is true and what I wrote is true, no?
The caps were for the originator's reference. They are NOT intended as a counterpoint. What you said is correct - I also tried to use offshore PayPal - but it wouldn't link to my bank account.
As for WeChat and Alipay - not sure about WeChat - but alipay needs a Chinese ID card to move cash to yourself overseas along with the currency exchange.
Paypal - FYI - also requires a Chinese ID card to register for currency exchange - avoiding the SWIFT wire transfer fees. Hopefully - expats will be able to also use that system in the near future - but no promises from PayPal.
Update: it is possible to do a bank transfer abroad for more than 500USD per day. I changed RMB to euro cash with a money changing lady, went to the bank, deposited the whole amount into my BOC account and transferred it in one go to my Dutch account. It took an hour and a half, it was expensive in fees (30 euro on the Dutch side + 350 RMB on this side, gah)
but I only had to show my passport and my BOC bank card. Worthwhile for larger amounts for sure.
I'm surprised that you got charged 350 RMB -- that seems excessive. The fee I have paid in the past is 200 RMB (150 cable charge plus 50 commission). There should be an itemization of charges on your copy of the transfer form that you can check.
My bank charges $15 for incoming wire transfers, but European bank fees tend to be relatively high from what I have seen.
The transaction takes about 30 minutes to complete after the first time, as you can just give them the papers from the previous time and tell them to use the same information again.
SHAMELESS UNCOMPENSATED PLUG FOR CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK
I use China Construction Bank (10 years now). I get charged CNY 0 (zero) for incoming international wires - both from myself and family - pretty much regardless of which US bank the payment originates from. Same with Paypal transfers to myself. The disadvantage - I have to go the bank EVERY time to manually move the currency into my bank account and then manually convert it into CNY.
If you're a Chinese national - you can avoid these fees on Paypal and Alipay using direct USD/EUR/etc to CNY transfer fees by subscribing to a direct exchange service company - in china - but you have to have an international paypal/alipay account and a domestic account in the same name.
This currency exchange service is STILL not available to expats in China for whatever reason. They recoup their fees from the currency exchange markup (typically ~1%).
SWIFT sending fees are typically USD 35, regardless of size, so if you're a Chinese national - this service breaks even fee wise around USD 3500 (1% = USD 35) - but can't beat the convenience of NOT having to run down to the only branch that provides this service to expats.
You can definitely transfer more than US$500 at once. If you have people you can work with in the destination country, Bank of China can send thru MoneyGram which is a lot less than wire transfer US$14-21 -ish depending on how much you’re sending.
I was thinking to try PayPal bc convenience and I thought fees might be comparable to MoneyGram but I haven’t gotten it set up yet - is it worth it?