Cash is King in China

I just read an article in the Seattle Times newspaper that mentions Cash is King in China.  What does that mean?   It means people use cash most of the time to buy everything even though the largest bill is 100 yuan which is worth about $16.   It mentions that a man went to buy a BMW 5 Series that cost $130,000.  He brought in a large white bag and a big heavy backpack full of money to pay CASH.   Sound Bizarre?  Yes, but I try to explain some things in China are much different than we are use to but I often think it falls on deaf ears as people can not realize this.  I have seen it for years.  China has 5  times the amount of cash in circulation than the U.S. has for example.  Just a couple years ago a man was checking out of the hotel next to me and brought up a large black brief case, opened it up to pay his bill and it was full of 100 yuan bills neatly stacked and wrapped.  I see the same in Jewelry stores. This is the norm rather than the exception in China.   Few places other than department stores and government stores accept credit cards especially in remote areas or private stores.   As I said,  CASH IS KING in China.  Yes, there are cash machines like ours and banks for exchange and even exchanges in your hotels is common; but spending it becomes another situation.  There are several reasons for this but too many to write here.  If you would like a copy of the article, email me at  interlak@eskikmo.com     I keep it in my computer to send to my clients who ask about money and credit or debit cards.  Added example:   One of my Chinese friends was just visiting here in Seattle and I showed her the article.  She agreed and said that she and her husband paid CASH for their apartment. It took three people with large bags to take to the owner for the payment.  She said that is common to avoid the one time Tax.  She couldn’t believe we pay taxes on our homes EVERY year!   🙂