Henan Public Bus Company Pays Staff Wages With Loose Change

Damaged 1 RMB cash notes that bus riders have deposited as fare in Henan province.

A public bus company in Henan province of China pays its employee wages with the loose bills and coins collected each day as fare.

From NetEase:

Henan Shangqiu mass transit company has paid wages with loose change for 12 consecutive years

It is reported that Henan Shangqiu Public Transportation Limited Company has for the past 12 years used the loose change from the fare collection box to pay workers’ wages. Because the number of people using transportation cards are too few and the bank isn’t willing to accept that much loose change, the company supplies and workers’ wages are all paid from this loose change. According to reports, things like people depositing damaged money, counterfeit money, game tokens, practice money [for bank workers] have happened, causing the company to lose several tens of thousands of yuan every year.

A mass transit bus company in Henan province of China pays its emploee wages with the loose bills and coins collected each day as fare.

March 14, Henan province Shangqiu city, the municipal mass transit company’s staff are receiving their wages, and for the past 12 years have always been receiving [their wages in] small change.

A public bus company in Henan province of China pays its staff wages with the loose bills and coins collected each day as fare.

A public bus company in Henan province of China pays its employee wages with the loose cash and coins collected as fare.

A Chinese public bus transportation company pays its employees and workers with bundles of 1 RMB money notes and 1 RMB coins because the bank refuses to deposit such loose change.

Employees of a Henan public bus company sort through a pile of 1 RMB cash bills in preparation for paying worker wages because the bank refuses to accept such small change.

Damaged 1 RMB cash notes that bus riders have deposited as fare in Henan province.

A worker holds up damaged bills that have been deposited on buses.

Game tokens that some bus riders have deposited as fare in Shangqiu city of Henan province in China.

An employee holds up game tokens that have been deposited on buses.

Comments from NetEase:

1个好朋友 [网易河南省三门峡市网友]:

In Shangqiu, I’m always full of respect for their public bus drivers, because their fanny packs are always look bulging.

长生天保佑 [网易上海市杨浦区网友]:

These wages must feel really good in your hands [because it seems like a lot of money].

网易广东省手机网友 [拉风的名字]:

Motherfucking, each person must be getting several thousand? What kind of work unit is this public bus company? To have such good wages?


Are you retarded? The bundles every person is holding…is several thousand? Have some power of observation and common sense, okay?

网易广东省清远市网友 [小李0408]:

This would be easy if it were given to me to deal with! Their bank dares to reject Renminbi? It doesn’t want to live? Banking regulations: Any person including commercial banks cannot refuse to accept RMB! Is loose money not RMB? Have the People’s Bank of China sue the local commercial bank!

网易湖北省网友 [顺水沉舟]:

Damaged money, counterfeit money, game tokens, practice money, here we can see the characters/quality of Henan people.


Being able to disburse wages this way continuously for 12 years is quite outrageous. How do the staff endure it?

japorn [网易美国网友]:

Ever since I was small, my dream has been to have my pockets full of money and spend every day in the city bling’ing here and there.

傲然05856173 [网易委内瑞拉网友]:

Income not deposited in the bank, paying wages without going through the bank, what kind of conduct is this? Tax evasion!

bwyydp [网易吉林省网友]:

Paying money is still better than owing wages! Look at the smiles on their faces and you know they don’t have high expectations/demand much.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • TomTuttleFromTacoma

    sitting on the 1 RMB stack sofa!

  • Zebadee

    I’m assuming that bus drivers here are just like bus drivers anywhere else – migrants who don’t have bank accounts so there’s nowhere to wire the money to. It’s quite normal to pay migrant workers in loose change; most small and medium-sized factories do.

    • AttentionWhore

      Migrant workers dont have bank accounts? What makes you be sure of that. They do Mr Zebawabajaba. Everyone does. Chinese farmers, although having shitty lives, possess bank accounts dude.

      • Alan

        I’d agree. Opening a bank account is pretty easy in China, they don’t even require an initial deposit.

        • Fu ZhiGao

          Half of my employees don’t have bank accounts. Even with no initial deposit they still prefer cash.

          • SonofSpermcube

            By choice, no doubt. Chinese banks don’t fuck the poor in quite the same way that American ones do; If you’re poor enough in the US, you may be unable to open or keep a bank account; or it may not be worthwhile to do so, costing more than it saves you. There may be other countries where this is the case. Anyway, that’s likely where the idea that poor=no bank account comes from.

      • -____-

        farmers having shitty lifes? well i know some farmers owning large land with 3 story house. farmers dont have shitty lives, ill prefer to live in countryside rather then cities, polluted and digusting.

        • [email protected]

          I second that

        • moop

          are you talking about farmers in china or farmers in places where people can actually own land? china’s property rights are one of the things that keep farmer’s poor in china. if you actually met someone “owning” (read leasing) a lot of land with a 3 story house in china, i would say that person built that house out in the country after making money in the city and wanted a quiet life for themselves.

        • AttentionWhore

          Yes, I change my statement on them having shitty lives. Imaais that in a moment of excitement

      • Irvin

        Even beggar have bank accounts, I’ve seen one beg right outside of a bank then enter and deposit the money every now and then, he even use the ATM to do it.

        Zebadee is ignorant indeed.

        • Alan

          @ Irvin: I have seen some of these farmers here depositing stacks of rmb into the bank. Perhaps I should grow veggies instead:(

  • sick j

    That’s shitty. It’s apparently OK to pay the hard working employees in money they can’t use or will have a really tough time spending. The photo of those damaged bills in the lady’s hand… Not even at my baozi shop would the laoban accept bills like that.

    • Mansu Musa

      Those are rare occasions, most of the time people are happy to be paid. Look at the smiles on the faces of everyone who didn’t get the ripped bills.

      This is still pretty good considering many companies don’t even pay their workers or take deductions from wages.

  • Jeff

    Reminds how money day I was in Walmart and the lady in front of me paid with like 250 rmb coins and 5 mao coins. I wanted to fucking kick her in the ass

    • Harland

      Great, abuse the poor people for being poor. God forbid you should take five minutes out of your day to deal with one of *them*. Classy move there.

      • Irvin

        I wish I was rich enough to buy a BMW with coins.

    • SonofSpermcube

      Did she count them out one by one after she was rung up, or did she stack them while she was waiting in line?

  • Brett Hunan

    the banks wont take singles? Wtf is that? I guess a huge company in public transportation holds no wait in the community.

    • -____-

      in reality u need to pay the bank if u have large amount of notes or coins(such as 1yuan or 50cents ones). it’s called counting fee :3

      • Foreign Devil

        that’s what they have money counting machines for. If the banks don’t take the money then the money is not legal tender and is worthless.

  • What if you earn 20,000 Yuan a month, I think you maybe need a truck with these coins and Yuan.

    • Alan

      @ Peter: ROFL!!!!

  • Mop

    At least they all seem to be happy with it.

  • Ah yes, the old Mercenary’s adage applies “As long as we get paid”. Could be worse… they could have been paid in “stock options”.

  • Harland

    Bullshit the bank “won’t accept” them. Far more likely there is some sort of processing fee, which the bus company refuses to pay. Then the boss comes up with the Chinese solution: the one that requires no thinking, is totally obvious, and completely neglects to consider the point of view of the people who it affects.

  • [email protected]

    I know the feeling. I tried to take some coins (estimated to be around 50 quai in one jiao coins) to a major bank. I think it might have been ICBC or Bank of China, but can’t I remember anymore, and I was refused.

    The conversation was more or less exactly this:

    “Can I change these coins please?”
    “You want to change these coins?”
    “Yes please”
    “Er…. hold on please Sir.”
    she goes and gets someone else
    “Hello Sir, can I help you?”
    “Yes please. I want to change these coins into notes”
    “These coins?”
    “You want to change them here?”
    “Yup. Yes please. Into notes thanks”
    “Err… please wait a moment Sir”
    ‘sigh’ “Yeah ok”
    he gets yet another person
    “Hello Sir, you cant change these coins here”
    “Huh? how come? You are a bank”
    “You have too many coins. We cant count them here”
    “But you are a bank – just use the coin counting machine”
    “No I’m sorry Sir, there are too many.”
    “Yeah I get that. So you can use the coin counting machine”
    “I’m sorry Sir we don’t have anything like that here”
    “But you are a bank”
    “Sorry. You need to count them yourself”
    “But you are a bank. How can you not have that machine? – You are bank????”
    “You can count them yourself Sir and then bring them back and change them here ”
    “Fine. I don’t have any bags for coins. Could you let me have some please?”
    “Sorry Sir, we don’t have that here”
    “But you are a ba… fine. Never mind.”

    I still have those blasted coins too. Who the hell wants to roll coins in newspaper so that some nob working for a bank doesn’t have to. It is their freaking job. So retarded.

    • Alec

      They want you to count them, then count them! Just tell them not to come crying if you accidentally overcount by a few hundred. After all, you’re not a bank. ;) Seriously though, just make a wild guess and let them check if they want to.

    • Alan

      I would just use them to buy beer or other small stuff from your neighbourhood ma and pa shop, they never seem to mind you heaping crappy change upon them, as they can always use it for change themselves, lol.

    • notorious

      lol funny we have counting machines in grocery store. if you have pennies, you can take them and dump them in the machine yourself and get cash. i think they charge 8 cents on the dollar though.

      one stupid thing about america. a penny is worth 1cents but it costs the government 5 cents to make a penny.

      • SonofSpermcube

        A coin circulates for decades.

  • Chinkicide

    Anyone is surprised actually? These are the chinese.

  • Dr. Dust Cell

    I’ll be super honest here. Back then, I did cheat the bus system from time to time by inserting 1角 instead of 1元, sometimes the bus driver would get super pissed and call me out for it but he’d have no way of proving it and after a few seconds-long altercation he would just resume driving along his route.

    Now why the fuck would I do such a thing? One time I had to put in a 20 yuan bill (for a 1 yuan fare) because it was 22:40, I had no change, I had to get home, and there was no taxi in sight, and that was the last freaking bus. In hindsight, I could’ve pleaded with the driver or some other passengers for change that night but I didn’t.

    Shortly after I found out that quite a few bus drivers actually truly check how much you drop, I got myself a public transport card. Though nowadays I just zoom by with my scooter.

    • hanyucha

      Scooting is definitely the best way to travel in the city. No traffic jams, just rip through them – what a great life. Every time I travel on the subway, and there are people coughing and sneezing I feel infected. I might get a little bit of pollution in my lungs on my scooter, but it is better than being sneezed on multiple times. The subway is just one long tube of air conditioning that recycles all the germs in the air.

  • Castro

    Don’t u just Love the Hong Kong Octopus card !

    Someday we will be rid of these odd little pieces of clothpaper.

  • typingfromwork

    The workers look like they’re having a laugh though. I suppose it is payday.

    The banks should accept the money. They got tonnes of that automated money counter machines, they should use them more than just count out three notes of 100’s every now and then.

    Good to see some old time non-Mao bills in the first picture.

    • Ryo

      Those machines don’t count 1’s and 5’s I believe. And I’ve never seen a coin separator here either. I shell invent one and bank on it!

  • Foreign Devil

    Well could be worse . .they could be getting paid in US dollars. . which are even more worthless.

  • Dr. Jones Jr.

    On this note, has anyone else noticed that in western parts of China, almost no one will accept 1 yuan coins, only the paper note equivalent?

  • Dr. Dust Cell

    “How do you like your 1 RMB? Coin? Note?”

    Definitely coin. Almost all 1 yuan notes I’ve handled are in some way damp, discolored, and torn/taped together. Disregarding my personal sense of disgust at the state of the 1 yuan note, a lot of shops here ask me to give them a newer note because they can’t use it either.

    I’ve never seen a 1 grimy yuan coin like the last photo’s though..

    • Alan

      Wish there was 2 rmb , or even 10 rmb coins?

      The denominations are weird here, and what no chunky coin like the UK pound coin….meh.

    • SonofSpermcube

      Those are game tokens, and are probably made of less corrosion-resistant alloys than RMB coins.

  • At least they aren’t in coins. Ughh… I don’t want to carry sacks of American pennies back home.

  • aggie

    ah my hometown! shang qiu

  • Expatty

    How long before this loose change situation is somehow blamed on foreigners?