There is no Chinese Yen!

I found the most incredible mistake on Yahoo today.

From Yahoo:

“10. Yen to Become Currency Peg

Asian countries could shun dollar pegs in favor of the Chinese yen next year, according to Saxo Bank. China’s economic, political and cultural influence is growing and shifts in market re-evaluations will favor the country, the report added.”


There is the Japanese yen and the Chinese RMB but no such thing as the Chinese yen.  Sometimes the provincialism of my countrymen relative to Asia amazes me!

WereVerse Universe Baby!

4 responses to “There is no Chinese Yen!

  1. They’re kind of close actually. China uses the yuan as opposed to the yen – sort of…

    While the Chinese currency is actually called the Renminbi (RMB or CNY), it’s denomination closest to the US Dollar is the yuan. If one was to say that Asians might no longer peg their money to the dollar, then saying they might peg it to the yuan instead would make sense.

    Then we add to the confusion by using the same international currency unit for both the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan…

    • Great point. I lived in China for a year and always used RMB to refer to Chinese currency but the term yuan is also used and the two terms actually cause some confusion. Still the yen an yuan may sound similar but are very different because the economic conditions of China and Japan are radically different. Japanese banks are extremely conservative compared to US banks and because of this are largely insulated from the direct effects of the current US banking crisis. Ironically, the very stability of the yen has caused problems since the yen has risen relative to the dollar and this makes Japanese goods harder to sell. I am living in Japan right now and got a ten percent raise in dollar terms due to the fall of the dollar! Currency fluctuation really do affect expats like myself.

      I was in Korea last year and the Korean won fell drastically shortly after I left. I would have gotten a 37% cut in pay in dollar terms if I stayed in Korea. There has been a 47% percent difference in my pay in dollars just because of currency fluctuations but that is neither here nor there.

      The Chinese yuan is only partially convertible and this means there is a wide gap between the official price and the black market price of the yuan and this is a fundamental weakness of the yuan. A legit person or company is forced to work with the official yuan which may have no connection to the “real” ie market price of the yuan. China and the US are joined at the hip economically to a greater extent than Japan and the US. A recession in the US will radically affect economic growth in China and in turn affect the yuan. The yen is probably the most stable currency in Asia. The yuan is one of the trickiest currencies in Asia.

  2. Katharine in Brussels

    Duh!!! (for Yahoo). Hugh, you could get a new gig there as a copy editor.

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