Urumqi Resident Buys Car with 400 Bundles of 5 Mao Bills

From NetEase:

Urumqi Citizen Uses 400 Bundles of 5 Mao Bills to Buy Car.

May 23rd, Urumqi, Xinjiang Bote Car City, a customer settled on in a 29,800 RMB ($4,700) Wuling-brand minivan. When it came time to pay the bill, he produced two large cardboard boxes from the inside of his car in which contained 400 bundles of 5 mao bills [worth 1/2 of 1 RMB and about $.08], the sales staff remarking that no matter large bills or change, it is their duty to provide service.

The customer, Mr. Wang, said this money had already been inventoried multiple times, each bundle 50 RMB, in total 20,000 RMB. Soon after, he paid 9,800 RMB in large bills, whereupon the staff completed the transaction.

Mr. Wang told the sales staff that he has worked in the cold beverages wholesale business for many years. One ice cream bar only sells for a few cents, so the family has saved a lot of change, but haven’t taken them to a bank to exchange them. Recently he’s wanted to buy a car, so he carried the two boxes of change to a nearby bank to exchange it for large bills, but the bank staff balked at the large amount and refused to handle it, leaving him no other option but to bring the change to the car dealer.

The staff said there were 400 bundles of change, each bundle containing mostly five mao bills, with a small number of 1 mao bills also mixed in. Four people counted, checking twice, taking a total of more than five hours before verifying a total of 20,000 RMB. The sales staff remarked, “Talk about counting money until your hand cramps!”.

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This isn’t the first time someone has used “Five Mao” to purchase a car though. In 2010, Qingdao City, a car dealer had a similar experience. In that instance, a customer brought a total of 60 bundles of the 5 mao banknotes and 40 bundles of 5 mao coins, totaling 40,000 yuan and weighing more than 100 kilograms.

Comments from NetEase:

4KCreolophus [网易北京市网友]:

29,800 RMB = 59,600 comments … who do you guys guess this may be?

锤死5毛狗 [网易云南省昆明市网友]:

Haha, wumao, however, it’s not THAT wumao. The workers counting the money must be exhausted, I imagine afterward whenever they see 5 mao they’ll vomit.

大坦沙岛主 [网易北京市网友]:

The income earned from posting comments isn’t bad! Jia you~~~~~!!


Just how many posts/comments does one have to post for that amount?

给我八毛还您三毛 [网易浙江省绍兴市网友]:

Is that you Maoism?

lcb9527 [网易福建省漳州市网友]:

This is enough to pay the wumao for ten years of work.

builderxrx [网易广东省广州市网友]:

The highlight was the bank wasn’t even willing to exchange it…

clede [网易浙江省台州市网友]:

“Recently he’s wanted to buy a car, so carried the two boxes of change to a nearby bank to exchange for large bills, but the bank staff balked at the amount of change and refused to handle it leaving him no other option but to bring the change to the car dealer.” [Quote from the article]

I want to know: we often talk about aligning with international standards, but when will this aspect align with international standards?

hzb0813 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

What car is so cheap that you can buy it for 20,000 RMB?

Have you ever made a large purchase using change? How did the staff react?

Written by Joel

Joel is a reclusive writer based in Shanghai who took up blogging as a hobby one summer and never looked back. Former editor of Shanghaiist.

  • 404namenotfound

    5 mao Sofa?

    • Jeff

      Er Jao for you

    • curl of the burl

      I guess wu mao commenting is a legitimate career choice after all….

  • not sofa… ):

  • D. Tective

    Imagine all those 5 maos under the sofa..

  • Jeff

    In the USA if you try to use small money to pay the government they put your ass in jail.

    Sometimes, I love China…

    • Little Wolf

      That’s bullshit. Money is money. But it could set off an investigation of money laundering or drug-dealing that can put you in jail.

      • Dont know about the US of Aiiiii. But in the UK 1p and 2p coins are only legal tender up to a value of 20p in total.

        • Stimpy

          Obviously bullshit. But thanks for your input.

          • Do yourself a favour and just google it. Anyone can see your wrong. Ignorance is not bliss, it is pitiful though.

          • marsvin

            It’s not so stupid, same is true in my country. You’re not allowed to infringe on the salesman’s time with thousands in small change. He’s free to accept them but doesn’t have to.

    • Rick in China

      Only if you’re black and wear dropped down jeans and a wife beater with a sideways red cap.

      • Notorious

        kids stop wearing their hats sideways in the late eighties early nineties and sagging pants is out of style.

        • Dat Ankle

          Shhhh, let white people keep thinking that.

        • UkJenT

          You’re totally wrong. You’ve obviously never been to Chicago.

  • Rick in China

    Shouldn’t it be illegal for a bank to refuse to exchange valid notes?

    • 大海

      That’s what I was thinking. Although if I try to bring $100 in lose pennies to the bank they’ll make me sort them myself.

      • Rick in China

        Banks in Canada have “change” machines, you dump in all your assorted loose change and it automatically calculates and sorts it for you, giving you bills and remaining change back from the dispenser.

        • 大海

          :-( not at my bank apparently. Maybe only in the major centres?

        • Foreign Devil

          And the machine keeps a 5 to 10% cut as payment for that service of sorting your change. There was one in a grocery store I worked at during my student years.. ..attracted a steady stream of beggars. . cashing in their coin donations for some paper money.

          • Somethin Somethin

            good times I can remember them using those receipts to buy night train and md 20/20 or a deuce deuce of ice house

        • Alan

          That’s pretty cool.

          One thing that surprises me about China, is why they don’t have some stuff like that in the banks?!

  • lonetrey

    This is why the various types of money counting machines were invented….

  • glenn

    At least he has the money to buy a car, after all money is money..

  • Fu ZhiGao


  • Dat Ankle

    Are banks allowed to refuse money exchange in China?

  • Anon

    I didn’t know Pug_ster still lived in China LOLZ

  • Slob

    Probably an advertisement campaign for the car dealer

  • moop

    that’s a lot of internet posts. pada??????

  • MonkeyMouth

    sometimes these non-stories can be terribly boring. need foul comments to spice them up. too bad Koward Coala Banana aint around anymore. at least under his usual name. whats the deal with that ? Sometimes i am tempted to take up the slack, but i cannot bring myself to post such awesome material. so , i just copy comrade kedafu and give the following as the song of the article:
    Funky Dollar Bill
    by Funkadelic

    i could choose ‘pennies from heaven’ but that just gay.

    • DeVitaVackra

      Elijah’s politically correct kindergarden view of reality got rustled so he told mommy to take the meanies away from him and so she did.

      • mr. wiener

        What bought this rant on?

        • DeVitaVackra
          • mr. wiener

            Fauna actually smacked him down pretty hard for that, she seemed to think it was the pot calling the kettle black. Coala Banana got booted off [I think] for sock-puppetry, which was kind of a shame as with that mess of insecure alpha male puffery he actually had some interesting things to add. I don’t think anyone else on that list has been barred. Slim Shady has just been off the radar as he is a troll with a short attention span, and seemed to enjoy people telling him to piss off.When they stopped he had nothing to beat off to.

  • Castro

    Who cares.

    Let’s hear about the Official being investigated for rape…

    • mr. wiener

      This should be interesting, sex, abuse of power. Could be a lot of repercussions.

    • Dr SUN

      that will never happen , they can rape whoever they like and do so daily.

  • Sean

    What an asshole.

  • typingfromwork

    Top Chinese comment is about how many comments the guy made.


    This story is fucking great. That picture at the end should be a meme with “top Sina commenter” or something similar.