Fake currency notes in China looks too real to burn

china economy

A China yuan note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files

China’s central bank had an odd warning on Thursday: Please don’t burn fake yuan notes.

The problem is that the knockoff yuan bills have come to look increasingly like real ones in recent years, worrying the People’s Bank of China, which is revamping regulations to prevent vandalism of its bank notes and the use of their patterns for commercial or illicit purposes.

Please “be civil in memorials, and don’t buy or use paper sacrifices printed with patterns of the renminbi,” the PBOC’s operation office said in a text messages to the public on Thursday, referring to the currency by its other name.

The bank’s Shenzhen branch also warned last week that those caught illegally using patterns printed on the yuan can be fined up to 50,000 yuan ($7,451).