May 23rd, Urumqi, Xinjiang Bote Car City, a customer settled on in a 29,800 RMB ($4,700) Wuling-brand minivan. When it came time to pay the bill, he produced two large cardboard boxes from the inside of his car in which contained 400 bundles of 5 mao bills [worth 1/2 of 1 RMB and about $.08], the sales staff remarking that no matter large bills or change, it is their duty to provide service.
The customer, Mr. Wang, said this money had already been inventoried multiple times, each bundle 50 RMB, in total 20,000 RMB. Soon after, he paid 9,800 RMB in large bills, whereupon the staff completed the transaction.
Mr. Wang told the sales staff that he has worked in the cold beverages wholesale business for many years. One ice cream bar only sells for a few cents, so the family has saved a lot of change, but haven’t taken them to a bank to exchange them. Recently he’s wanted to buy a car, so he carried the two boxes of change to a nearby bank to exchange it for large bills, but the bank staff balked at the large amount and refused to handle it, leaving him no other option but to bring the change to the car dealer.
The staff said there were 400 bundles of change, each bundle containing mostly five mao bills, with a small number of 1 mao bills also mixed in. Four people counted, checking twice, taking a total of more than five hours before verifying a total of 20,000 RMB. The sales staff remarked, “Talk about counting money until your hand cramps!”.
This isn’t the first time someone has used “Five Mao” to purchase a car though. In 2010, Qingdao City, a car dealer had a similar experience. In that instance, a customer brought a total of 60 bundles of the 5 mao banknotes and 40 bundles of 5 mao coins, totaling 40,000 yuan and weighing more than 100 kilograms.