China issued on Thursday a new 100-yuan banknote with color-changing ink and upgraded security features as part of the central bank’s efforts to combat counterfeiting.
The 100-yuan note is the largest denomination of the country’s currency. While most of its old features including China’s leader Mao Zedong and the iconic Great Hall remain, the new version features several improvements that make it harder to counterfeit and easier for machines to read.
The note was issued amid persistent problems with counterfeiting. Law enforcement in China confiscated 532 million yuan ($85.6 million) in fake bills in 2014, up about 25 percent from a year earlier, according to Chinese Ministry of Public Security.
About 90 percent of the counterfeit banknotes uncovered in China were found in the southern province of Guangdong, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Earlier in September, Chinese police seized 210 million yuan ($33.8 million) in fake 100-yuan banknotes in the province.
“We can now distinguish between real and fake money within five seconds. These new features will require an update to current counterfeit detecting machines,” Shao Guowei, technical director of China Banknote Printing and Minting Corp said.
A brief history of the Chinese yuan
As new banknote is into circulation, the old version will gradually be phased out. The yuan has undergone many design changes since its first series back in 1948. Take a look at China’s currency over the years:
Sources: People’s Bank of China, Xinhua News Agency, Sina.com, South China Morning Post.
Daniel Michaud on counterfeit bills
CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed Daniel Michaud, the Counterfeiting Coordinator for the Canadian police in the province of Quebec, about China’s new banknote.