How to Move Money Out of China: A Brief Guide

A brief guide on how to avoid capital controls and move money out of China.

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How to Move Money Out of China: A Brief Guide

China is tightening its capital controls. Faced with an outflux of money resulting from a depreciating yuan, Chinese officials are restricting the flow of money into foreign currencies such as the US dollar, causing severe complications to businesses with a large portion of international operations. Further, officials are limiting purchases of insurance products in Hong Kong by mainland residents to a $4,600 policy cap.

While these capital controls can can make it significantly more complicated to transfer funds out of the country, ways around them do still exist. For those still determined to move money out of China, here are a few useful methods:

Underground banks

Pooling transfer quotas from several individuals to make a larger single transfer can be done through underground banks as can “matchmaking” services, where an individual seeking to move money out of China is matched with one seeking to move money in, resulting in a zero net money exodus.

PayPal transfers

Money can be moved offshore via PayPal by sending from an account opened in China to one opened in another country.

Corporate accounting tricks

Various accounting techniques can be used by a company to mask a transfer. For example, purposely overvaluing imports or undervaluing exports on invoices allows a larger de facto transfer to be made without running into capital controls.

Cash smuggling

Physically smuggling cash out of the country is a possible, though risky, way of getting around capital controls.

Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin can be acquired through online exchanges (or other methods) domestically. From there, it can be sent to wallets controlled anywhere in the world, and either used, kept, or converted into local currency.

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