The Rishengchang Exchange Shop was established in 1823 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), with about 35 branches in Pingyao City, Shanxi Province. The Rishengchang Exchange Shop is considered as the first draft bank in Chinese history. The compound is listed as a key cultural relic by the provincial government. It is now a museum in the Pingyao Ancient City. The Rishengchang Exchange Shop had a tremendous influence on the Chinese economy during its 108 years of existence in Qing Dynasty. Generally speaking, the exchange shops traded in bills, making the shop
one of the earliest forms of banking. Though the main currency during the Qing Dynasty was the silver coin, the exchange shops could alleviate the traders' problems of carrying large sums of money through cash deposits and transfer of funds from one businessman to the other. The shop is within a compound with three courtyards. The complex is 65 meters long and 20 kilometers wide facing south. The five rooms facing the street serve as the gate of the shop, with the name sign hanging in the central position above the rooms. Near the first courtyard are the cashiers' offices, which are situated on either side of the passage.
There are three halls in the second courtyard used for money and trade exchange. The third courtyard served as accommodation for the senior staff and due to its location away from the noise of the road also provided a resting place for important customers. Due to its enormous influence upon the development of banking in China, the Rishengchang Exchange Shop has become a place of considerable interest to visitors in recent years and helps the visitors get an insight and a better understanding of the early banking industry in ancient China. Some guide informations for the Rishengchang Exchange Shop.
Location: within the Pingyao Ancient City Admission Fee: CNY120(included in the Pingyao Ancient City) Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
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