5 Different Ways to Send Money to China in 2022

send money china

While it’s certainly easier to send money to China nowadays than it has been historically, there are still many hurdles to navigate to ensure both safety and cost-effectiveness.

Finding the best method for transferring money to China will need to consider several factors, including ease of transaction, speed, cost, and transparency of the process. 

If you are a business owner, other factors may also influence your decision in terms of importing fees, quality of suppliers, shipment costs, and many others.

Every cross-border payment depends on the exchange rate and processing fees, but sending money quickly in China requires a thorough understanding of the process.

Before jumping in to understand more about the different methods of sending money to China, let's clear the common misinterpretation about the currencies in China.

What's the main currency in China? Chinese Yuan or Reminbi?

When you start sending money to China, you probably have come across different Chinese currencies whilst in the process of research and money transfer in regards to CNY, CNH, or RMB.

In short, the official currency of China is Renminbi (RMB) and the main difference between CNY and CNH is that :

  • CNY is an onshore RMB currency traded within Mainland China only
  • CNH is an offshore RMB currency traded outside of Mainland China

If you would like to have an in-depth understanding of the currencies in China, please refer to this article.

Now that's out of the way, let's get to know more about the different methods of secure online money transfers to China.

What’s the best method for sending money to China?

1. PayPal

PayPal is a popular e-commerce payment gateway allowing users to send and receive funds safely and securely. PayPal allows you to link your bank account, and credit or debit card, and users can use a PayPal account to make purchases online, send money online, and many more.

Paypal became available to China on September 30, 2019, when it acquired a 70% stake in GoPay. This allowed PayPal to become the first foreign payment platform available to provide online payment services in China.

PayPal is one of the most recognized payment options and is accessible in online stores worldwide.

  • Reliability: Very High
  • Transfer Fees: 2.9% + currency altering fees
  • Setup Difficulty: Low
  • Speed: Fast

PayPal has a strong user base in China due to the Chinese language being accessible within the platform.

The main downside of PayPal is the currency conversion fees, along with a 2.9% transfer fee.

Over time this may cause Paypal to become a less attractive choice for larger businesses to send money to China. Here is a link to the PayPal website where you can get more information. 

In order to have a precise estimation of the exact amount you will be sending and receiving, you can use our PayPal fee calculator tool before using PayPal for your payment services to ensure the payment calculation is accurate.

2. Bank or Wire Transfers (via SWIFT)

Wire transfers have been around for a long time.

They’re extremely common and often the best choice for businesses.

The largest and most reputable major banks in China - as well as every other country - use the standard international SWIFT code system to reliably transfer money between bank accounts.

  • Reliability: High
  • Transfer Fees: $35-45 along with currency conversion fees
  • Setup Difficulty: Low
  • Speed: Relatively slow to medium (A few days to a few weeks)

Such a comparatively massive flat rate obviously excludes wire transfers for small, frequent transactions. As we know, things like Paypal are best for that.

However, some conventional vendors may not accept a new or less common transfer method. When that’s the case, a wire transfer may be your best, or only, choice.

You’ll notice the Reliability metric above is “High”, and not “Very High”. This is specific to China, and a few other countries that have equally strict money laundering regulations and foreign investment laws.

Occasionally, when sending a wire transfer to a bank in China, the transfer will be frozen and investigated. This could delay the wire by a few days, or even a few weeks.

3. Statrys

Founded in Hong Kong, Statrys is an award-winning Fintech company, that provides payment services to businesses expanding in Asia. The company provides a simple and streamlined way for businesses to make payments globally.

With Statrys multicurrency account, businesses can make international wire transfers to China (also known as TT or Telegraphic Transfers), which is widely accepted by suppliers in China.

The Statrys business account offers features to fit the needs of a small business:

  • multi-currency business account  in Hong Kong
  • 11 currencies, including HKD, CNY, USD, EUR...
    When you receive CNY funds into your Statrys account, you will be able to convert to 10 other currencies at a cheaper rate.
  • A EURO IBAN account
  • Virtual and physical MASTERCARD payment cards with built-in controls and limits to manage business expenses
  • FX services at competitive exchange rates (spot and forward contracts).
  • All transaction fees are cheaper than with traditional banks.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to China via Statrys?

  • Reliability: High
  • Transfer Fees: 75 HKD
  • Setup Difficulty: Low
  • Speed: Between 1 to 3 business days
  • Exchange rate: based on real-time mid-market rate
  • Extra Fees: None

How does it work to send money to China via Statrys?

  • Make an account online and log in.
  • Enter the amount you want to transfer, along with the recipient’s details.
  • Make payment to the receiver via wire transfer or SWIFT network.
  • The transfer will be processed between 1 to 3 business days.

4. Wise

Wise or formerly known as TransferWise is an online money exchange service that allows users to send money around the world whilst paying real exchange rates and small fees.

Wise offers personal and business accounts for users to transfer and manage their funds in a variety of currencies.

If you need to make a large transaction to China, Wise can be a safe and efficient method of payment as Wise possess superior exchange rates compared to, say, Western Union.

How much does it cost to transfer funds to China via Wise?

  • Reliability: High
  • Transfer Fees: 4.46 USD +0.65% of your amount
  • Setup Difficulty: Low
  • Speed: Relatively slow to medium (A few days to a few weeks)
  • Exchange rate: Best Available; No Spread
  • Extra Fees: Bank wire transfer; credit and debit card.

How does it work to send money to China via Wise?

  • Make an account online and log in.
  • Enter the amount you want to transfer, along with the recipient’s details.
  • Make a payment to Wise by utilizing a bank transfer, or a credit or debit card.
  • Wise will send the money on your behalf.

Your chosen recipient will get the money in Renminbi (Chinese Yuan) within a couple of business days.

5. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is an online money transfer platform similar to Wise. WorldRemit allows users to collect money transfers through different methods such as mobile wallets, cash pick-ups, bank transfers, Alipay, and many more.

They offer more flexible delivery options than methods like Venmo, Crypto, PayPal, and others etc.

Think of it like an alternative to Wise or Western Union, with different markets, rates, and delivery options. Check all of them to see who gives you the best secure online money transfer options.

Since January 2020, they have partnered with Alipay to offer the Alipay app as a method to send money to China fast and online.

How much does WorldRemit charge to transfer money to China?

  • Reliability: High
  • Transfer Fees: 2.99 USD
  • Setup Difficulty: Low
  • Speed: Fast (via Alipay)
  • Exchange rate: Best Available; No Spread
  • Extra Fees: None

How to send money via WorldRemit (to an Alipay account)?

  • Select China as the receiving country for transfers
  • Select Alipay as the transfer platform
  • Enter the desired amount, please be noted the fees and exchange rate will be shown whilst selecting the amount and prior to sending the amount.
  • The next step is to create an account via WorldRemit
  • Enter your recipient's details ( Receiver’s full name and address, Alipay ID, mobile phone number)

How long does it take to send money with WorldRemit?

  • As long as the receiver has enabled the Alipay app option to receive remittances, they should receive the amount within minutes
  • If they haven’t enabled the option, it will take around 72 hours
  • They will need to activate the account in order for the transfer to be received
  • An email and SMS notification will be alerted to both sender and receiver once the transfer is done.

    All the data gathering is based on information available on the WorldRemit website as of November 2022

Bottom Line

There are a few different ways to transfer money to China. Currency instabilities, remittance limits, and the urgency of the delivery can affect which method you choose. The information above can help you get a brief overview of your options for sending money to China.

At Statrys, we offer an alternative to traditional banking solutions for businesses incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the British Virgin Islands.

Our user-friendly online system allows you to manage your account from anywhere at any time. Plus with our transparent pricing structure, you know exactly what you pay per transaction when sending money to China.


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