How To Transfer Money From China

Eleanor Boniface
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Sep 24, 2019

Transferring money from China to your home country may seem difficult, but it is not impossible. When you move to any new country, you will find that things you could do easily at home have a different process.


China has a limit on the amount of money that locals or expats can send abroad. However, that is not to say you can’t do so.


Reasons You May Need To Send Money Home:

1.     Student loans

2.     Credit card bills

3.     Car payments

4.     Life insurance

5.     Phone bill

6.     Family


And many more….


How Current Expats Send Money Home

We have spoken to some of the expats that have arrived in China through Career China and they have provided us with information on how they send their money home:


1.     Wire Transfer

"Research your bank back home and banks in China. Usually bigger banks like Bank of China, ICBC, and HBSC will do international transactions. Smaller branches may not have the staff that know how to do international transfers." – Charlise R.


Before you do a Wire Transfer, you need to go to the tax office and obtain a tax clearance for your Chinese paycheck. You also need your contract from your school and your bank card. Go into the bank with these documents and they will transfer the funds directly to your chosen country using your bank’s swift code.


2.     Alipay

This option is not available for foreigners living in China. However, you can have a Chinese friend help you transfer money from their Alipay to your bank account in another country and will take 3-5 days. 


**Make sure to check that the Chinese person helping is allowed to do so, as you do not want to be the reason they cannot buy Foreign currency in future. They need to make sure they state exactly what they are sending the money for.


3.     Paypal

"You can set up a PayPal account with your Union Pay bank card and transfer money to a PayPal account linked to your bank account at home. This is one of the more convenient and quicker options, but Paypal does charge a transaction free which may become quite large for bigger transactions." – Johnny B.


4.     Western Union

"Western Union is one of the most reliable methods to transfer money in China, especially if you don’t have a Chinese friend to help you transfer. It is recommended to find a bank that works closely with Western Union, such as Shanghai Pudong Development Bank." – Sam M.


**However, make sure that you know exactly where the Western Union places are closest to you, plus you may need someone to pick up the money in your home country. Do your research thoroughly and always check if someone needs to pick up the money in person and arrange for someone to do so.


5.     Other Methods of Transferring Money

Other teachers in China have recommended a program called Swapsy to exchange money, this does not apply to all countries so please check before using.

Transferring Money Home From China


The option you choose to pay your loans depends on your bank, home country, how quickly you need money transferred, and the fees involved. What might work well for your co-worker may not be the best option for you.

For more information about money in China, check out these articles about the Cost of Living in China and Banking and ATMs in China.

To read more about paying off your student loans in China, go here.

Learn more about living in China with The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

Recommended for you
Latest Posts