Whether you’re helping out friends or family in Beijing or investing in a business in Shanghai, you want a simple, reasonably priced way of transferring your money.
Sending money from Hong Kong to China doesn’t have to be an exhausting and expensive process. When you can quickly compare transfer fees and exchange rates for bank transfers, online transactions and even same-day services, you can get the best deal every time.
Send money to China with TransferWise
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts.
Fair service fees and mid-market rates – a major market differentiator
Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pick-ups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
“Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it will yield more money when exchanged in a country with a weaker currency.
The yuan’s exchange rate is flexible, which means it can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
How do money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to friends, family and businesses overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, China.
Depending on the provider, you can initiate a money transfer in person, online or by phone. Your cash or bank account transfer is then either deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available as cash for pick-up at a location in their country.
What are all the ways that I can send money to China?
Bank transfers. Many major Hong Kong banks will allow you to wire money to banks in China.
Money transfer providers. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to China from the comfort of your home.
Providers with cash pick-up. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the option of sending funds that can be picked up from thousands of agent locations across China.
PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from Hong Kong to China.
Cheques and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international draft, obtained from your bank.
Banks vs. money transfer companies
China’s economy is experiencing a boom, and the Chinese yuan has become increasingly popular among traders on the global currency market. Many major Hong Kong banks offer the option to send funds to China, but they typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.
A reputable money transfer specialist can offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more Chinese yuan into your recipient’s pocket.
Tips for sending money to China
Steps to send money to China
Create an account with the transfer provider that has the rates and delivery speed you need. Provide your name, contact information and proof identity.
Enter your recipient’s name, contact information and the amount of money you want to transfer.
Complete the transaction and wait for the funds to be delivered.
Monitor your transfer’s progress with the reference number the provider emails to you.
Same-day cash transfers to China
You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to China — perhaps your friend loses their wallet in Wuhan or their handbag in Heife. When you need to get funds to someone urgently, the fastest transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.
Receiving cash in China
Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria provide the three largest money transfer networks in the world, with thousands of agent locations around the globe. You’ll need to pass your transaction reference number on to your recipient to allow them to pick up their funds. They’ll also need to bring along a photo ID.
Tips for picking up cash
Exercise caution when picking up cash from an agent location. Don’t advertise the fact that you have a wallet full of cash, and head to your bank as soon as possible to deposit the funds.
Cash pick-up locations in China
ICBC – #564 – SH LANPINGLU SUBBR Address: 544 Lanpin Rd Minhang District Shanghai Hours: 9am–5pm Phone: +86-21-64308751
Which 10 countries are sending the most money to China?
China has over 35 million expats scattered around the world. So it’s no surprise that it receives the second most money transfers right behind India with an estimated $63.9 billion in remittances in 2017, according to World Bank. Let’s see what countries are sending money to China.
Remittances in 2017
Frequently asked questions
Yes, both TransferWise and WorldRemit allow near-instant transfers to your recipient’s Alipay account.
Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their needs.
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