This may seems a very easy question, but it is frequent one – trust me, I receive several emails everyday from visitors to Shanghai, and many people got confused of the difference between RMB and Yuan. For example, yesterday, when I answer a question with 2500 RMB, my reader asked: Is RMB and Yuan the same thing?
Yes. It is the same. RMB is the abbr. of Ren Min Bi, or the People’s Money. It is the official currency (maybe the only one) in China.
Yuan is the base unit for RMB – just as Dollar in USD. This is the currency system in China:
分 Fen cent
角 Jiao dime
圆 Yuan dollar
The first characters (you may not be able to see them if your computer don’t have Chinese font support) are the Chinese character of the currency unit. The second is its Pinyin / English name, and the last one is the counterpart in USD.
So Yuan and RMB is not always the same (as Yuan is just one of the currency units in RMB), but they can often be used interchangeably. 2500 RMB and 2500 Yuan is exactly the same amount of money.
PS. I know this is too easy a question, but I would rather spend sometime to help to answer this one. The reason I am doing this is, I understand some very easy question may not have an easy answer for first time visitors. Just as I found out in the comments of this entry:Frequently Used Phone Numbers in Shanghai, people even not familiar with emergency number 119. What can be more easier than this question?