Fake banknotes flood China

A flood of counterfeit Chinese banknotes that has alarmed consumers stocking up on gifts ahead of the...

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A flood of counterfeit Chinese banknotes that has alarmed consumers stocking up on gifts ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, was still stinging shoppers on Thursday despite government pledges of a crackdown.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

<?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">China</country-region>’s central bank warned consumers last week to be wary of counterfeits, after local media said high-quality fake banknotes had been found in 14 provinces across the country.

The sale of these notes appeared to be rife in <state w:st="on">Guangdong, with several online sellers in the southern province bordering <place w:st="on">Hong Kong boasting their notes could "cheat detectors," the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said.

One website calling itself a "direct distributor" of Taiwan-made fake currency, but carrying a phone number with an area code for China’s southern city of Shenzhen, was selling batches of notes for 15 yuan per 100 yuan bill.

The spread of fake banknotes has raised warning bells in <place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Taiwan</country-region>, after Chinese media reports suggested they had originated from the self-ruled island.