China Laundering Money Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Literally...
19 Feb 2020
In addition to various policies limiting people's movements that China has implemented to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, announced that it has implemented its own strategy to contain the virus: deep cleaning and destroying potentially infected cash.
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All Chinese banks must now literally launder their cash, disinfecting it with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, then storing it for seven to 14 days before releasing it to customers, said the central Chinese government in a press.
Cash that comes from high-risk infection areas, like hospitals and wet markets, will be "specially treated" and sent back to the central bank instead of being recirculated. Cash transfers between hard-hit provinces will also be suspended in order to limit the possibility of virus transmission during the cash's transit.
The bank will issue large amounts of new, uninfected cash to make up for money leaving circulation. In January, the bank allocated 4 billion yuan (about $573.5 million) in new banknotes to Wuhan, where the outbreak began.
The new measures indicate "the financial system's full support in fighting the virus and resuming production," the government press release said.
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