Jump to content
  • Sign Up


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Contributors to this blog

  • roddy 143
  • anonymoose 85
  • skylee 61
  • mungouk 11
  • abcdefg 10
  • StChris 8
  • Publius 8
  • Tomsima 6
  • jbradfor 5
  • ChTTay 4
  • xiaocai 4
  • somethingfunny 4
  • stapler 2
  • DrWatson 2
  • Flying Pigeon 2
  • js6426 1
  • murrayjames 1




So this isn't a sign, but it does have Chinese characters. That counts right? Not complicated, weird, or confusing. Just historically interesting. Found in the bottom of a drawer. All up there's 15kg worth and not enough 分 to even make a 角





Recommended Comments

@889 in total there's about 30kg worth in notes. I just took a photo of each unique one. 


I did some some quick research and it seems the fen notes were legal tender until 1997 and the 票 legal tender until 1985, which roughly matches up with what the old grandpa told me about the notes. Apparently there are notes for cooking oil as well. 

Link to comment

I'm sure I remember getting the notes, which would have been from 1998 onwards. Only in transactions where they're particularly fussy though - changing money at the bank and the like. 

Link to comment

全国粮票 were not legal tender. They were quota tickets. To buy 馒头 for example you needed both 人民币 and 粮票. Though starting from the 80s, you could buy (or rather trade it for) small things from peddlers -- stockings for girls, cigarettes for boys. But the black-market practice is definitely not legal. And the official abolition of the various 票s and 券s was sometime in the 90s I believe.

Link to comment

And you could always pay a little more in cash if you didn't have 粮票。 I remember once paying for something at a bakery in part with 粮票 -- don't remember how I got them -- and the clerk was really surprised to see a foreigner handing them over.


In English, these things are usually called ration coupons or ration tickets. They date to the time when China rationed basic commodities: each family would be allotted so many each month. Most coupons were local, so these All-China tickets are rarer.


Not all that long ago when ordering rice in a restaurant you'd specify a big bowl 二两 or a small one 一两米饭, and hand over the appropriate coupons if you had them.  Now you'd get a pretty wierd stare if you ordered 只一两米饭.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Yea, ration coupons! Pardon my bad English. :P

There were all kinds of them, 粮票, 油票, 肉票, and 副食供应本 for 粉丝, 麻酱, etc. We used to buy 二两猪肉 multiple times because that way you didn't have to use 票 or 本. And money alone was not enough to buy a bicycle, you needed 工业券.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

But unless you were good friends with the butcher, all you ever saw on the counter were the fattiest slices of "meat."


As to bikes, you could get around the coupon problem by buying one second-hand. Not practical for rice or meat.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • Create New...