WoAi’s Hongkong Stimulus Package

Banking in China continues to amuse and mystify. I took a trip to ICBC bank at lunch time:

WoAi: I’d like to withdraw 50,000 RMB please.

Clerk: Do you have any ID?

WoAi: No.

Clerk: Ok. Do you have one rmb?

WoAi: Huh?

Clerk: Give me 1 rmb and I’ll give you 50,000 RMB.

WoAi: Er, ok.

I didn’t ask why. My guess is that you need ID to withdraw 50,000 rmb but not for a smaller amount. Or perhaps 1 rmb is the necessary bribe to replace valid form of ID, or a kind of punishment!

If you’re wondering why I was taking out 50,000 rmb, well it’s part of my plan to rescue the Hong Kong economy. Yes that’s right, 4 consecutive, uninterrupted days of shopping in HK for May holidays!

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22 Responses to WoAi’s Hongkong Stimulus Package

  1. Tripfriend says:

    Lucky bastard. Meh. I’m happy with 4 nights of clubbing.

  2. WoAi says:

    Tripfriend – Oh, I’ll be doing that as well :-p

  3. T. says:

    As a fellow cantonese person, I know you know the HK eating scene forwards and backwards, however, let me rec some places you might not be familar with – outside the Cantonese ouvre

    Sushi Kuu – http://thehailife.blogspot.com/2009/03/sushi-kuu.html – get the omekase and sit in front of the chef at the bar. See if you can get in there friday night late night. Order Samuaris. Give one to the chef. It’ll be awesome.

    Australian Dairy Company – http://thehailife.blogspot.com/2009/02/best-scrambled-eggs-in-world.html

    Mmmm double skinned milk and awesome eggs

    Mo Bar at the Landmark Oriental – that’s where I ran into Kristie Lu Stout.

  4. WoAi says:

    T – Wow the first time I read that all I saw was KRISTIE LU STOUT!

    I think you overestimate my HK knowledge, I haven’t lived there for 10 years exactly, so your tips are much appreciated. They all sound amazing, let’s see if there’s time between shopping trips and hanging with mum (she’s there till 9th May then back to England).

  5. Tina says:

    That’s some serious shopping!

  6. shopgirl says:


    Could you PLEASE do me a favour?
    if you go into hermes, can you check how much the thick bracelet with a gold H costs?
    and also the price of LV Weekendbag

  7. Mark says:

    Woai – that’s a great way to help get the economy going again. Make sure not to spend it all in one place, and be careful not to get to close to any pigs, no need having you taken down with the swine flu.

  8. T. says:

    Why don’t you just follow Kristie Lu Stout on twitter then you can message her directly and be that much more creepy (er. . .not that I know what that’s like)


  9. abcd says:

    woah…50,000rmb for 4 days of shopping? what are you planning on buying?

  10. shopgirl says:

    abcd: ehhh…thats pretty easy to spend…

    5 bags maybe?

  11. WoAi says:

    Tina / abcd – It’s a long story but I’m transferring that money to my bank in HK. For shopping, I’m just gonna put it all on my credit card and pay when I get the bill in June.

    Shopgirl – Can you send me photos otherwise I am worried I won’t be checking the price of the right items.

    T – Just started following KLS, thanks for the stalking tips! I’ll tell her you said hi.

    Mark – Cheers. I’ll definitely spread my money around as I’ll probably be spending as much on eating as shopping. All the things I can’t get on the mainland. Can’t wait!

  12. N says:

    Woai you are the only person I know who shops with cash. 50,000rmb must be quite some cash to carry.. but again I have no idea. Is there any advantage to that?

    I love credit card. I use an airline credit card and I get a free ticket home every few months.

  13. WoAi says:

    N – Yeah, the cash isn’t really for shopping, I will be using credit card. I only took out the money to transfer some to HK as it’s very hard to transfer from China without tax receipts and employment documents etc.

  14. N says:

    Now I read you last post. Can you not transfer money out of China other than by cash? Have no idea of banking system in China..

  15. WoAi says:

    N – This topic can be an entirely new blog post. You cannot send RMB overseas, it’s not possible. So you have to first convert it to US dollars and then you can send it. But foreigners can only change 500 USD per day . If you want to change more you have to prove you have paid tax on the money by showing income tax receipts and about 20 other documents.

  16. lideting482 says:

    I guess this is due to the requirements “商业银行类金融机构为自然人客户办理人民币单笔5万元以上、外币等值1万美元以上现金存取业务的,应核对客户的有效身份证件或者其他身份证明文件”.

    If you withdraw more than 50,000 rmb at one go, you have to show your valid ID. The ICBC clerk asked for one yuan from you so that he can give you 50,000, actually you only withdrew 49,999 rmb which did not achieve the threshold of 50,000. Therefore you ID is not required any more.

  17. WoAi says:

    lideting482 – Interesting, thanks. I guessed it was something like that. The funny thing is she didn’t explain it at all, just asked me to give her 1 rmb.

  18. shopgirl says:

    so what are you planning to buy?? Curious

    but a guy with a nice pair of jeans is really sexy!!! perfect shade of light blie-blue from Diesel that is a bit torn…NIIIIICE

    just a tip :) lol

    Prada for men is also really nice

  19. WoAi says:

    Shopgirl – Well apparently I need new glasses! Not in to Diesel at all. I have quite a few jeans from Evisu. For shoes I like Tods.

  20. njd says:

    I actually find it refreshing in this one instance she didn’t explain and did excactly what you asked. All for one RMB. Are you sure you were in China????

  21. Wow, burning 12,500 RMB per day? Living large, I see… Happy shopping!

  22. Silk Knots says:

    Similar thing happened to me! I think it has to do with withdrawl limits. In my case, they asked me to withdraw 49,990 RMB

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