China’s vigorous fight against counterfeiting, at least when it comes
to its own money, is continuing with the Aug. 17 announcement that the
People’s Bank of China will issue a new 100-yuan note in November.
The impetus for the change is the proliferation of illegitimate
currency found in circulation, which the government-run Xinhua News
Agency said rose 25 percent last year, to a total of 532 million yuan
(more than $85 million), citing information provided by the Ministry
of Public Security. It will be the first change to the note, which is
the highest denomination issued, since 2005.
Although the new note will look similar to its predecessor, with a
portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong dominating most of the face, it will
feature subtle security enhancements.
Among them are the denomination printed in ink that changes from
green to gold when the note is tilted, an additional serial number
printed vertically on the right side, a security line also on the
bill’s right side (as viewed on the face) that will change from hot
pink to green depending on the angle, and a textured pattern appearing
across the image of the Great Hall of the People on the back.
Many of the enhancements are for automatic teller machines, which
apparently have been easily fooled by some of the better recent
counterfeits, according to news accounts.
Xinhua also reported that an astonishing 90 percent of the fake bank
notes were found in the southern province of Guangdong (formerly
Canton), which happens to be both the most populous and wealthiest
province in the entire country. Despite the apparent risk, the bank
states that the old 100-yuan note will continue in circulation.
Although the 100-yuan note is the largest denomination of Chinese
bank notes, it is still a fairly low denomination by U.S. standards.
At exchange rates on Aug. 26, 100 yuan renminbi were worth
approximately $15.60 in U.S. funds.
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