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Manuel

Getting illegally earned money out of China?

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realmayo

Yes but he's on his last warning right?

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Lu

Always.

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Shelley

@LuThat had me in stitches too, @realmayo how many last warnings has he had?

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Jan Finster
8 hours ago, Manuel said:

but it seems like a good way to move money around, assuming crypto is easy to exchange in both China and your destination

 

Just out of curiosity, how does this work? Let us say you have the equivalent of 20000$ in RMB under your pillow in China, how do you turn this cash into bitcoin? Surely, you need to give this cash to someone (=?)

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mungouk
1 minute ago, Jan Finster said:

Surely, you need to give this cash to someone

 

You buy them, online, using your bank card. 

 

Then you store them in a "wallet" (software or hardware).  Plenty of info on this out on the interwebs.

 

 

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Shelley

Yes, but how do you get your cash from under the mattress on to the card so no one knows? Once its no longer cash there is a trail.

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mungouk

Oh right yes... "cash" as in that paper stuff with pictures of dead peoples' faces.  

 

I kind of remember it.

 

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, Manuel said:

Exploring crypto has certainly been on my endless to-do list for a while now, but I'm afraid it might end up being yet another rabbit hole... How hard is it to get yourself up and running? Is it legal and, if so, easy to buy crypto in China?

 

You waited too long. It's no longer legal in China.

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mungouk
59 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

It's no longer legal in China.

 

Mining Bitcoin in China is illegal, and Chinese financial institutions aren't allowed to touch it, but there's nothing to stop individuals in China from buying it AFAIK.

 

Since the PRC decided to press ahead with its own crypto-currency, they reportedly also clamped down on criticism of Blockchain technology, which underpins both.

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imron
6 hours ago, Shelley said:

how many last warnings has he had?

Several. 
 

 

14 hours ago, roddy said:

Can I just say that any "I can do it for you" posts, or links to specific services from new members,

As a long standing member of the forums, “I can do it for you.” Minimum of $USD 1 million required 😉

 

On a serious note, I agree about the volatility comment. If you convert your RMB to bitcoin, then in the time it takes you to get it out in a local currency of your choice it may have gone up or down 10%, or if you pick the right/wrong day, 50%. 
 

The easiest way to change money will probably just be to find a Chinese person you can trust in your home country and deposit $X RMB in their Chinese account and have them send you the equivalent local currency to your home bank account. 

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Jan Finster
4 hours ago, imron said:

The easiest way to change money will probably just be to find a Chinese person you can trust in your home country and deposit $X RMB in their Chinese account and have them send you the equivalent local currency to your home bank account. 

 

But if you deposit the 20000$ RMB equivalent on your friend's bank account, then surely he needs to pay tax on it (!?)

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roddy

I'd also be wary of having large quantities of cash turning up via crypto exchanges or similar into a UK bank account - that kind of thing makes banks nervous nowadays. Similarly, you might have questions asked if you try and use it when buying a house, for example. 

Quote

Deposit from overseas: This is a tricky one for most lenders because it can be really difficult to trace the origin of the cash in order to be satisfied it’s legitimate and not at risk of money laundering. As a result, you may find many lenders declining the application. Some lenders do have a flexible approach and will consider overseas deposits if for instance they are in established bank accounts and the money can be traced from a legitimate source. This is really on a case by case basis so get in touch if you have more questions and want to know which lenders will consider your application.

 

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Manuel
14 hours ago, Shelley said:

Yes, but how do you get your cash from under the mattress on to the card so no one knows? 

 

Or even if the person selling you crypto was willing to take cash, they would effectively be buying your problem off you. But still I don't understand, if I have $100,000 in the bank and decide to withdraw it all as cash (is that even possible?), would I then be able to turn up at another bank, open an account and pay it all in?

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Lu
1 hour ago, Manuel said:

But still I don't understand, if I have $100,000 in the bank and decide to withdraw it all as cash (is that even possible?), would I then be able to turn up at another bank, open an account and pay it all in?

As I understand things, the second bank would do that if you can explain to their satisfaction (preferably with lots of paperwork) where all that money came from. If they don't find your explanation sufficient, they would either turn you down or take your information and inform the police.

 

And I also assume that you can withdraw $100,000 in cash, but you'd definitely need to call ahead and there might be some other requirements or costs.

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Moshen

As it happens, I recently had a series of transactions that bear on this topic and I don't mind describing them because it was all legal.

 

I am American and my husband was born in China but now has US citizenship.  His aged mother in China wanted to send him a large sum of money, as kind of an inheritance.  The money was wired from China to our bank account in the US by various family members in chunks of up to $50,000, which apparently is the limit per person per year for Chinese having access to dollars for the purpose of foreign travel and such.  I don't know what kind of red tape they had to go through but apparently it was not burdensome.

 

On our end, the bank called me about the money wires and I told them it was an inheritance.  No problem, they said.  We did not have to produce any paperwork backing that up.  And our accountant said that if we got less than $100,000 in any calendar year as an inheritance from a foreign country, we do not have to declare it on taxes.

 

 

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imron
2 hours ago, Moshen said:

I don't know what kind of red tape they had to go through but apparently it was not burdensome.

I have done a similar thing in the past to send money out of China, my Chinese friend only needed to take their ID with them to the bank.  I was under the impression the amount locals could send per year had been reduced, but depending on how recent your experience was, I guess not.

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Moshen
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I was under the impression the amount locals could send per year had been reduced, but depending on how recent your experience was, I guess not.

This was in December 2019 and January 2020.

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mungouk

Swapsy was mentioned earlier in this thread... I've been using it quite a bit recently, mainly because my other method of accessing my money from Chinese bank accounts from here in the UK dried up a month ago when I unexpectedly hit my overseas withdrawal limit.

 

In case anyone's interested... well, it works. Mostly.

 

From what I can gather it began as a student start-up, and it still looks very much like a prototype.  The customer support is somewhat patchy as well.

 

Basically it's a P2P in-country swap service. If I want to get RMB out of China and into my PayPal account**, I put in the amount I want to swap and the system matches up people who have RMB and those who have USD and arranges an in-country swap on both sides... so I send RMB to someone through WeChat or AliPay, and then someone outside of China sends me USD to my PayPal account.  There are no international transfers, so there are no large fees for SWIFT transfers and the like.

 

Currently I'm using it because I can't find any alternatives. When I first signed up last year you could choose to swap between RMB and USD, CAD or GBP.  Now they only offer RMB and USD.

 

On the RMB side, the e-wallets supported are AliPay and WeChat Pay, which makes sense.  Outside of China they currently only accept PayPal (worldwide, although you will receive USD), and Zelle, which can only be bound to US bank accounts.

 

Like I said, the customer service is very patchy.  Recently I've been finding that my "swaps" can go through as quickly as 2 hours, or as slowly as 2 days. A few times the money hasn't turned up after 3-4 days so I've sent them a message using the website, which may or may not be answered.  Sometimes when I've chased up the payment it gets actioned immediately, which makes me wonder why they can't wave that magic wand more often. The money always arrives in the end... The good part is that the payments are "guaranteed" by Swapsy. 

 

But recently they've limited PayPal to receiving USD 300 maximum... which means my syphoning of my own funds out of China has turned into something like that WW2 film where the prisoners of war are digging a tunnel and emptying the soil out of their trousers in tiny amounts during their daily exercise. And recently I've quite often found that the PayPal option is switched off with some message about "high demand", which sounds pretty feeble... if the transfers are P2P then why would this make any difference?  My assumption is that they're trying to cover themselves against too many failed/bad transactions, since they're "guaranteeing" all the transfers.

 

Transferwise has also been mentioned on the forums, and I'm using that as well, to transfer between the UK and my account in Singapore. This is also an in-country P2P matching service, but the difference with Swapsy couldn't be bigger... it's a pleasure to use. Easy to use and nicely designed, I've never had any problem with it. They also have a phone APP which Swapsy doesn't. 

 

For me the only downside with Transferwise is that they don't support transfers out of China. If Swapsy can do it (a student startup) then I don't see why TransferWise can't also do it and blow them out of the water, but there must be regulatory, political or other reasons why not... at least for the time being.
 

 

** Given that these days I have to change USD to GBP to get at my money eventually, I'm wondering whether I should just skip the whole Swapsy business and set up PayPal on one of my Chinese accounts. PayPal exchange rates are notoriously bad, but when I started using Swapsy I could swap RMB for GBP so that wasn't an issue.  

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889

"And recently I've quite often found that the PayPal option is switched off with some message about 'high demand', which sounds pretty feeble... if the transfers are P2P then why would this make any difference?"

 

As I understand it, Swapsy doesn't deal on its own behalf: it matches parties wanting to trade. That is, you're dealing not with Swapsy but with a peer. If demand is temporarily imbalanced, there may not be a peer available for your trade.

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