How to Send Money to China
Many international money transfer providers (MTPs) provide solutions to send money to China online. These operators; such as Remitly, WorldRemit, or Western Union, are a simple, reliable, and affordable choice to move funds to this country.
You'll learn all the details about international money transactions in China in this article. We’ll also discuss the current regulations and the documents you'll need to provide. Here's what to know before you send money to China:
How to Send Money to China Using a Money Transfer Provider?
The process of sending money to China with an online money transfer service is simple. You only need to follow these three steps to execute a transaction!
Step 1: Compare providers to find the one that best fits you
Step 2: Sign up with the chosen provider
Step 3: Transfer money
How to Send and Receive Money in China?
China is among the top five recipient countries for remittance inflows. According to statistics, a total of USD 53 billion was sent from abroad to the mainland in 2021. Most transactions were done with international money transfer providers, but the section below covers all available options!
Ways to Send Money to China
Regardless of your location, you should have multiple options available to send money to China. Money transfer providers are a simple method to move funds to the country, but how do they compare to the alternatives? That's what you'll discover in this section!
Money Transfer Services
These are payment service providers that offer cross-border money transfers, including sending money to China. The majority of international money transaction services are available online, making transferring funds to China possible in only a few clicks.
Money transfer providers require you to register and verify an account before sending money to China. Once you do that, you can use the simple transaction form to execute a transfer. It involves providing the sender and receiver's details.
Most MTPs, such as Remitly or WorldRemit, will offer a clear overview of fees and the exchange rates offered at that moment. If you agree with the details, finalize the transaction. Depending on the chosen method, the money could be available to the receiver in minutes.
Wire transfers are notoriously slow. It takes time for the receiver to get funds, and the sender faces a rather complex sending form. The service is also likely to be more expensive than other money transfer methods. Users can get cheaper and faster transfers with MTPs; you can send money to China online in a few clicks, regardless of the amount you are transferring.
Bank Account Transfers
This is a bank-to-bank transfer from your account to the receiver's bank account in China. However, this often comes with high fees. Banks such as the Bank of China, ICBC, Exim Bank of China, or Huaxia Bank might charge a lot for processing the transfer which can take a few days for the money to arrive. The overall complexity, cost, and speed of wire transfers make MTPs a much better alternative.
Challenger banks are small financial institutions that are designed to "challenge" big banks with digital products. AiBank, WeBank, and XW Banks are some examples of challenger banks in China.
However, the reports indicate only 5% of these institutions are able to turn a profit. Their lack of solvency makes them risky for international money transfers, especially for large sums. It's safer and better to stick to MTPs.
Mobile Apps and Payment Services
These include specialized mobile payment services, such as Apple Pay. China doesn't allow Google Pay, but they have WeChat and Alipay as popular options for online and in-store payments. Regulations can change so it easier to use international money transfer providers.
PayPal is available in China, but it's not a popular e-payment service. However, the company has a long history, and is a listed US company, making it a reliable option for sending money internationally. The problem with this option is that fees can be high, especially for the sender. Money transfer providers are usually cheaper, and they can be equally fast.
Money Transfers to a Pickup Location
The crucial difference here is that there is no web-based delivery. You may start the transaction online, but the money will be picked up physically at a local agent. MTPs, such as Western Union, offer this option in most countries, and the transactions can still be fast. Recipients must provide a valid ID and visit their local office.
What Do You Need to Send Money to China?
For a personal international money transaction to China, you'll need the following documents:
A valid photo ID. It's necessary to confirm your identity. You may also need a valid phone number to register an account with an online MTP.
The sending amount. You should know the sum you plan to send in the desired payment method, such as your credit card or bank account.
Recipient's info. Apart from name and address, you might need their bank account number and other details, such as SWIFT, bank branch, etc.
Documents to prove the origin of money. Most services require these, especially for large sums, as a part of the anti-money laundering programs. The document might be a property sale contract, salary statement, etc.
What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in China?
Money transfer services will usually offer multiple options for how the receiver can pick up the money. But once you make a choice, there's no coming back. It's best to talk to the receiver and discuss the following collection options.
Location Pick Up
The receiver will need to go to a branch of the service you used. For example, Western Union has thousands of locations in various parts of China. The money should be available shortly after you send it. While the transfers are secure, collecting large cash sums might be risky.
Direct Bank Deposits
Some receivers prefer getting the money into their bank accounts, and most money transfer providers have agreements with multiple banks, such as the Bank of China. Even if the receiver is not a customer of the bank, they may sometimes open an account for the transaction purpose.
Home cash delivery is a convenient option, but not many services offer it. It's best to check the desired platform you plan to use and study the area they cover. Cash delivery is a possible alternative for rural areas where there's no bank or an MTP branch nearby.
Mobile money is a popular way of receiving money in China. For example, WorldRemit partnered with China Unicom, China Telecom, and China Mobile. This is a convenient way to send money but check with the receiver that they are eligible for this option.
What Do You Need to Receive Money in China?
The receiver might need to provide the following documents to collect the money:
A valid ID card issued by the Chinese government. It should have the same name as on the transaction form, and it's usually necessary for cash collections.
Transaction reference numbers. Your task as the sender is to send the TRN to the receiver. They might need to provide it to collect the money.
Information about the transaction. The provider might require information about the sum the receiver expects, as well as the sender's name. For larger transfers, some providers might require information on the fund's purpose, and truthful answers are important to avoid potential problems.
Top Money Transfer Providers to Send Money to China
Remitly – Best for Sending Money to China Overall
Remitly offers Express and Economy transfers to China, but the fees are identical. That means you can send money to this country quickly without spending any extra money to accelerate the delivery. The receiving options include WeChat and Alipay accounts.
3 Steps to Start Using the Provider
Step 1: Visit the Remitly page for sending money to China.
Step 2: Choose the option that suits the receiver and proceed with the transfer.
Step 3: Enter the sending and receiving details and finalize the transaction.
Wise, TorFX, Ria Money Transfer
WorldRemit – Best for Alipay and Airtime Top Up
WorldRemit offers fast and simple transfers to China from different continents. You can only perform five transactions per month, with the maximum sum per transfer being CNY 50,000. There is also a yearly restriction, but you can contact WorldRemit and ask to increase your sending limits.
3 Steps to Start Using the Provider
Step 1: Begin by visiting WorldRemit's website.
Step 2: Enter the desired currency and check the rates.
Step 3: Double-check the details and confirm the transaction.
Instarem, Azimo, TorFX
Western Union – Best for Cash Pickup
Western Union has over 27,000 agent locations throughout China. Whether the receiver is in Shenzhen or Shanghai, the odds are they'll find an agent nearby. WU offers fast transfers, and the money should be available in minutes with transparent costs and exchange rates available.
3 Steps to Start Using the Provider
Step 1: Head to Western Union's website and enter the send amount.
Step 2: Pick the parameters for receiving and sending the money.
Step 3: Confirm the details and finalize the transaction.
Wise, PayPal, Ria Money Transfer
What Are the Fastest Ways to Send Money to China?
Many reputable international money transfer services are ready to send funds to China almost instantly. The actual transactions occur in real-time, and it rarely takes more than a few minutes for the money to become available to the receiver. These platforms allow you to send money to China fast.
The transfer speed might depend on the payment method. Credit and debit cards are the best way to upload funds instantly, and you may need some patience with bank account transfers. Some platforms require additional fees to speed up the transaction, which is why it's best to stick to the operators from the list above.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Send Money to China?
Some international money operators don't apply transaction fees, especially with large transfers. MTPs also earn money from exchange rates, so the cheapest operators are those who keep those rates as close to the mid-market rate as possible.
International money transfer providers often have a welcome bonus for newcomers, such as a free first transfer. Reward programs are welcome to earn benefits when sending money to China frequently. Finally, some payment methods come with higher fees, so going with specific sending options could save you more money.
What Is the Safest Way to Send Money to China?
Money transfer operators go through rigid checks to obtain a license to send money to China. The MTPs mentioned on this page are all licensed and secure. But some providers understand users look for additional safety measures. Here's the list of MTPs with extra features to boost transfer security.
Frauds are common in the online financial world, so knowing how to avoid them is imperative. Prevention systems are an important part of anti-money laundering programs. Many international MTPs obtain licenses from different regulators to boost their reputations.
What Are the Best Apps to Send Money to China?
Specialized apps serve to simplify sending money on the go. They do this by offering a streamlined experience, fast page loading times, and intuitive menus. But you need mobile apps that don't come with glitches, crashes, or other problems. Here are the most reliable software solutions for sending money to China.
The process of sending money is identical to other mobile apps. You install the app on iOS or Android devices, open it up and follow the instructions. The above apps do not take up much room on your device and run flawlessly, ensuring sending funds to China on the go is simple.
Things to Consider When Sending Money to China
China has a strong financial regulatory system aimed at protecting its national currency. Check out this detailed explanation of local laws and other things to consider when sending money to China.
China has three vital financial regulators responsible for supervising this industry and authorizing MTPs and other companies to provide financial services. The regulators include:
The Public Bank of China. PBOC creates monetary policies, supervises the interbank market, and issues Payment Service Licenses to remittance providers.
China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. CBIRC supervises financial and insurance institutions, ranging from banks to insurance companies.
China Securities Regulatory Commission. CIRC has been supervising providers and products related to securities since its establishment in 1998.
How Much You Are Sending Abroad
There's no limit to how much money you can send to China. However, the receiver has a restriction of not converting or purchasing a foreign currency over USD 50,000 annually. Therefore, it is best to send money in yuan.
According to the Anti-Money Laundering Laws and Regulations, all financial institutions are obligated to report a person's single or daily accumulated value of international transfers over RMB 200,000 or USD 10,000 (or other foreign currency's equivalent).
The Cost of Money Transfers
Here's how the international money transfer providers earn from the performed transactions:
Transaction fees. It largely depends on the platform, so you could end up paying nothing or dozens of dollars per transaction. Many offer benefits like a fee-free first transfer or reward programs.
Exchange rates. The rates offered by money transfer providers are lower than the mid-market.
Payment providers, such as credit card issuers, may charge additional fees that could cause you to pay more per transaction.
Payment Type and Reason for the Transfer
Basic family support, gifts, and other personal transactions are the most frequent reason to send money to China. But there are also business transactions, which are more complex and could come with additional fees. International laws are more complicated for companies, but it's important to do everything by the book.
Safety and Security of the Provider
Apart from obtaining a license from local authorities, many international money transfer providers have licenses from other regulators, such as the UK FCA.
The security component includes encrypted transactions and protected servers where your personal and financial info is stored. Strong data protection, security, and a good reputation is imperative for money transfer providers to build trust with their users.
Tax Regulations in China
As a sender, you won't have to pay any taxes when sending money to China. However, you might need to report large sums to local authorities.
As for the receiver, the Chinese residents are subject to the Individual Income Tax. The IIT applies to their worldwide income and includes nine categories. However, there's no gift tax, so this might only refer to transactions that involve a business-related income. It's best to consult a Chinese tax expert to be on the safe side.