New 100-yuan banknote 'snubbed'

China's new 100-yuan banknote, with anti-counterfeiting features, went into circulation on Thursday. The government has kept the denomination of Chinese legal tender low to "curb both counterfeiting and corruption".
China's new 100-yuan banknote, with anti-counterfeiting features, went into circulation on Thursday. The government has kept the denomination of Chinese legal tender low to "curb both counterfeiting and corruption".PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Anti-forgery notes rejected by ATMs and at supermarkets, need time to be 'recognised'

BEIJING • China's new 100-yuan banknote, acclaimed by the authorities as bearing high-tech features that make it harder to forge, is being rejected by cash machines, a report said yesterday.

The red note, emblazoned with a portrait of the People's Republic of China founder Mao Zedong, is worth just under US$16 (S$22) and remains the highest denomination available in the country.

It went into circulation on Thursday and has been dubbed the "high-roller gold" for the colour of its main "100".

It has more security features than previous notes, the government said, to make it "easier for machines to read" and "more convenient for the public to distinguish authentic notes from fake ones".

But some banks' automatic teller machines (ATMs) would not accept the new money when people tried to deposit it, reported the East Asia Economic and Trade News in the northeastern city of Changchun.

BILLS NOT RECOGNISED YET

Come back another day if you want to spend it - we dare not take the note before the verifier gives the nod.

A SUPERMARKET EMPLOYEE, giving the reason for refusing to accept the new note, according to a report

A bank executive said it will take several days for all ATMs to be "upgraded" to recognise the new note, it said.

Residents also complained that supermarkets rejected the bills because counterfeit detection machines consistently sounded alarms when presented with the note, the paper said.

"Come back another day if you want to spend it - we dare not take the note before the verifier gives the nod," the report cited a supermarket employee as saying.

Counterfeiting is rampant in China, with the country's own currency no exception, despite crackdowns by the authorities.

Police in the southern province of Guangdong announced in September that they had seized piles of forged 100-yuan banknotes with a face value of 210 million yuan (S$47 million) in a raid, according to reports.

Money-counting machines are common in Chinese shops, where customers making large purchases in cash use wads of notes to pay.

The government has intentionally kept the denomination of Chinese legal tender low to "curb both counterfeiting and corruption", the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2015, with the headline 'New 100-yuan banknote 'snubbed''. Print Edition | Subscribe