New and Improved Chinese 100 Yuan Note Out Today

Unfortunately no 500 yuan note yet

Fake Stuff

A trip to the ATM starting today may yield new results as China unveils the newest version of its 100 yuan note.

While they appear to be the same “red Mao’s” as before, these new 100 yuan notes are equipped with new security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit and easier to be recognized by bank machines. It should become easier than ever for the average person to discern an authentic bill from a fake one, and it doesn’t just involve rubbing Mao’s shoulder for verification.

So what’s the difference between the old and new bills?

New security features on the revamped bills include: the ink of the denomination changes color from green to gold when the note is tilted, there’s an additional serial number printed vertically on the right side (seen printed in blue), there’s now a dotted security strip on the face of the bill (referred to as an “optical-variable security thread”) that changes color from hot pink to green, depending on the angle; and the image of the Great Hall of the People on the back of the bill is now slightly raised.

The change has been a long time coming, with the last set of alterations to the 100 yuan note made in 2005. And yet, China has been dealing with counterfeit money for some time now. The proliferation of counterfeit bills rose by a quarter last year, amounting to 532 million yuan ($85 million).

However, anyone hoping for a larger denomination than 100 will be disappointed. As yet, there has been no announcement about a possible 500 yuan note.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor