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The Best Ways to Transfer Money from China

Posted by: Zhorea Garcia
Category: Useful Tips
how to transfer money from China

If you are an expatriate in China, you have probably asked the question about how to transfer or send money from China to another country. Perhaps, you will send money to a loved one or a business partner, make a foreign payment or simply, send your hard-earned money back home before leaving for good. However, China limits how much money you can send out of the country. Nevertheless, there are also steps you can take to transfer more than a daily limit.

Read our previous post about How much money can I bring in and out of China?

If you haven’t figure out the ways on how to send your money out of China, this article is what you are looking for.

Methods to transfer money out of China

Via bank to bank transfer

Bank to bank transfer requires a Chinese bank account. You may need a Chinese local to assist you in dealing with the Chinese bank employees who may be unfamiliar with the wire transfer process. Depending on which bank you opened your account, wiring money directly to a bank account outside China should not be a problem. It may take one to five days to transfer money to an overseas account. However, China banks limit the amount you can transfer to USD 500 unless you can present a proof of your source of income. Foreigners can transfer without a limit if they can provide relevant documents, proving their financial ability to send such funds.

What you will need

For USD 500 or less:
  • Passport with a valid residence visa
  • Bank card and bank account details including account name, account number, and the bank’s name and address (for both sender and receiver)
  • SWIFT code or bank identifier code (BIC) of your bank home or the receiver’s bank
For sending without a limit:
  • Passport with a valid residence visa and work permit
  • Bank card and bank account details including account name, account number, and the bank’s name and address (for both sender and receiver)
  • Original copy of employment contract with official seal or chop
  • SWIFT code or BIC of your bank home or the receiver’s bank
  • Monthly tax receipts (depends on the amount of transfer)
  • Payroll slips from your company
  • Sufficient funds up to the amount of taxes paid

Take note that sending money via a bank transfer will cost some service charges which vary according to the processing bank. Normally, it will cost about RMB 80 to RMB 150 depending on the amount to be transferred.

Through Western Union or Moneygram

Sending money via a transfer agent such as Western Union or Moneygram is pretty much the same for the bank to bank transfer. However, these agents do not have their outlets or establishments in Mainland China. You can find them in Chinese banks like Bank of China or ICBC. It would be useful to visit Western Union or Moneygram websites to locate banks that can handle this type of transfer.

Using a wire agent’s services is quite convenient if you are sending money with urgency. You can expect the transaction to be completed within 10 minutes and the receiver will be able to get the money in lesser time or within 24 hours. Banks with Western Union or Moneygram also require the same documents for the bank to bank transfer. They also have corresponding service fees depending on the amount of money to be sent. For example, Western Union charges USD 17 for a USD 500 transaction. Take note that this may also vary according to the country of destination.

To avoid problems, make sure to write the receiver’s information correctly as listed in the identification card he or she will present to the agent. Otherwise, the agent will have to withhold your funds until the information matches. After the transaction is completed, you will receive the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) which the receiver needs in order to collect the money.

PayPal and other payment options

PayPal is the first foreign company to obtain a digital payment license in China. Using the PayPal Services could be your next option if wire transfer via bank or agent is not viable. However, the fees can be very high. This is because not only PayPal charges fees, but also the bank overseas.

Take note that you will have to open a PayPal account based in China through https://www.paypal.com/cn to link your Chinese bank account and send money. On the other hand, the recipient should also have a PayPal account to generate a PayPal email address. As long as these requirements are satisfied, you can send money to China quickly using PayPal.

There is no limit to how much you can transfer, and it takes about 3 to 4 days before it can reach the recipient.

Other online transfer options include Transferwise and a UnionPay-branded ECARD for U.S. residents.

Use Alipay international transfer

Alipay does have an international transfer function where you can send money directly to an overseas account. However, only Chinese locals will be able to do it for you because it requires a Chinese ID. The transfer is limited to two transactions per day and RMB 30,000 per transfer. The recipient’s bank can only determine by the processing time. Alipay service fees usually amount to RMB 50 per transfer, and like Paypal, the recipient bank will also charge upon receipt.

Despite the viability of this option, Alipay transfer is still subject to China’s laws. This means that you must present proof of your source of income and taxes that have been paid on the money. Furthermore, it won’t be that easy to find a trusted person to do personal and financial transactions on your behalf.

China’s limit on its currency

Sending a huge amount of money from China to an overseas account will face restrictions due to China’s tight control of its capital account. The Chinese government is taking a serious step to protect the country’s foreign exchange reserves and the yuan exchange rate. Therefore, you can experience limitations in the amount you are sending and even the cash you are withdrawing out of China. For instance, in 2018, China has lowered the daily limit on U.S. dollar withdrawals from USD 5,000 to USD 3,000. Banks are also required to put a client on a “watchlist” if he or she is making frequent foreign exchange withdrawals. On the other hand, China only allows an annual overseas withdrawal of up to RMB 100,000 or USD 15,000 from a Chinese account regardless of having multiple bank cards. Moreover, a person is only allowed to withdraw an amount of RMB 10,000 each day.

China survived the Asian Financial Crisis which happened in the late 1990s. Learning from this lesson, keeping the currency in control is in the country’s interest. Meanwhile, China’s foreign exchange regulator explains that limits on overseas transfers are meant to fight money laundering, terrorism, and fake outbound investment transactions.

If you want to know more about doing business in China, contact our team for inquiries and follow us on social media to get the latest news!

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Author: Zhorea Garcia

Leave a Reply


  • Nitin

    Can a chinese person send money to a person in HK as of today ( Dec 1,2020). Is there a limit to the amount ( say $2000) ? Can the recipient in HK receive it as cash if he/she does not have a bank account? Which is more preferred – Moneygram or western Union

    • admin

      Hi Nitin, if the recipient does not have a bank account, it is possible to receive it by cash. However, Western Union or Moneygram has a certain daily limit of USD500 for remittance. Whether via Western Union or Moneygram depends on their availability at banks nearest to the sender. Otherwise, if the Chinese person will be sending via bank account, it is better to send via banks directly. Hope this helps. Thank you.

  • David

    I’ve got all relevant documents for sending TT but the issue is I’m currently in overseas and not able to be back to China for a while. Any possible way that I can do TT remotely?

    • admin

      Hi David,

      So, do you want to transfer your funds from China to where you are right now? You can ask someone you trust to do the transaction for you (at the bank, Alipay, or western union). You can also link your China bank card to your Paypal and check if you can send money to another PayPal account (although this can be costly due to Paypal charges). Or if you have a Union Pay card (Bank of China or ICBC, for example), you may try to withdraw money (a limit of RMB 100,00 daily) from an ATM where you are which accepts Union Pay. If it doesn’t work, it’s probably not supported in your area. You can also check your bank app if there is a function to do international remittance and navigate whether it would be possible to transfer by yourself from your China bank card to your foreign account. I hope this helps. Thanks.

  • Richard Lee

    Hello, I am honored that God arranged for me to search for your company’s articles and master some transfer methods. However, I have a large amount of funds to be transferred out, and I make a personal deposit. Is there any way to help me?Thank you very much.My phone numeber: +18185331285

    • admin

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, it is possible to help you with the fund transfer so long as you can present proof that the funds are acquired legally. Please email us at [email protected] to connect with one of our consultants directly. Thank you.

    • UOA

      hi Richard and Admin, this is a wonderful article. I see no reason why S.J grand cannot set up a medium between buyer and seller. We buy alot of goods from china and need a lot of RMB in China and have USD here. will S.J grand be willing to broker this deal, for example Richard gets his desired USD and we get our RMB over there. there are tons of people looking for smooth legal transactions like this

  • Lisa

    Please how do I transfer money to a US company account from China. What are the details needed from the us company account?

    • admin

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your message. We can assist you to transfer funds to a US company account and guide you through the details. Please email us at [email protected] so that we can arrange for one of our consultants to get you started with the process. We look forward to your e-mail.

    • KB

      Hi, please i tried the Alipay with a Chinese but it seems they have suspended their operations..could you please verify it

      • admin

        Hi KB,

        If that is the case, we advise you to ask your Chinese friend to use other ways in the meantime such as via bank to bank transfer or western union. If you have tried it today or this week, the issue may be because of the upcoming holidays. You can try again after that. Thanks.

  • Andrew

    my friend in china got me to buy some items in australia and send over and now wants to transfer money to me for these items. how can we do this transfer as I am not a Chinese national. I am in Australia and they are in China – they are wanting to transfer via WeChat or Alipay which I can not do..

    • admin

      Hi Andrew,

      You can only ask them to transfer via bank to bank. They can only use Alipay to transfer internationally to your bank account. It should be easy if they are Chinese nationals and the source of their income is legitimate. They can go to any bank in China and transfer internationally to your bank account in Australia. Hope this helps.