Until the beginning of the 20th century, the silver lyan the major currency unit in China. It was divided into 10 mao and 100 fen.
There were over 170 types of lyan, with different content of silver. Meanwhile, rural areas used ancient copper coins - tjan and
kesh. Many foreign currencies were also in use. Silver yuan coins were minted since 1835, but lyan existed until 1933. Several
monetary reforms took place in 1940ies and 1950ies when inflation was bad. In 1969 the currency unit got the name "zhenminbi"
(people's money). Since 1980 currency certificates in yuan were issued for foreign visitors, and their rate was much higher than
ordinary zhenminbi. In 1996 the certificates were abolished. 1 yuan equals 10 jiao and 100 fen.