Chinese man gives his girlfriend a US$50,000 banknote bouquet, but did he break the law?

Citizens are obliged to ‘treasure’ the nation’s currency and mishandling notes is an offence, manager at central bank says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 9:14pm

They say money can’t buy you love, but that didn’t deter a Chinese man who last week gave his girlfriend a huge bouquet of “flowers” made from more than 334,000 yuan (US$52,300) worth of banknotes.

Photographs shared online showed the woman, from the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, standing in front of the heart-shaped floral display of precisely 3,344 100-yuan bills during her birthday celebration at a hotel, Chongqing Morning Post reported on Thursday.

Neither the man nor his girlfriend were named in the report, but a person who attended the party on May 16 was quoted as saying the display had been created by workers from a local florist.

“The arrangement took seven people more than 10 hours to complete,” the person said.

Meet the man pulling his girlfriend across China in a rickshaw in the hope she will marry him

Given the security concerns over how much money was involved, the display was put together at the venue, he said.

Another guest at the party was quoted as saying: “The man really loves his girlfriend,” adding that the boyfriend’s family “has plenty of money”.

But not everyone was moved by the floral-cum-financial show of devotion.

A manager from a branch office of the People’s Bank of China said the cash-rich beau might have been guilty of a criminal offence.

When is your spouse’s birthday? Chinese authorities set couples a test before granting divorce

Quoting from relevant regulations on the treatment and handling of the nation’s currency, the unnamed official was quoted as saying that the “intentional destruction of renminbi [the formal name for the yuan]” was forbidden and that “all entities and individuals shall treasure renminbi notes”.

“There are many ways to declare [one’s] love, but no one should go against the law,” the person said.

“Using renminbi to make bouquets is an act of ‘not treasuring the notes’, and should be forbidden.”

The report did not say if any of the banknotes had been damaged in the creation of the display, or if the matter would be investigated further.