Yes, China burns money -not because they have too much of it, or to spite anyone- simply to use it better.
You see, they burn it to produce electricity. Now isn’t that priceless?
A power plant authorized by the local branch of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank in Luoyang City, central China's Henan Province burns used bank notes to generate electricity for the city.
How does it work? Well, apparently one ton of the damaged paper money can help generate 660 kilowatt hours of electricity. And even better, it’s more environmentally friendly that coal with reduced emissions - at least that’s what the company claims.
"With Henan's current unused paper money counted, the company can help generate 1.32 million kWh of electricity annually, which is equal to burning 4,000 tons of coal," said a source with the local branch of PBoC.
Paper money no longer usable is handed to the PBoC via private banks and individuals for destruction. Usually the lot of discarded money is used for making paper by allotted companies. This is the first case in China where the money has been used for electricity generation.
Regardless of the completely rational explanation, it is an unbelievable feat and people are taking it accordingly- i.e. with a pinch of salt and a whole lot of sarcasm. The topic has brought heated discussion on microblog Sina Weibo, with many cracking jokes about the ordeal.
"Burning money? Luoyang is such a rich city!" reads one comment.
"I'm willing to go a year without electricity, please give me a pile of cash!" says another.
Burning money isn’t something new for the Chinese though. People have been burning faux money made of joss paper as religious offerings to the dead for quite some time in China as well as other east Asian cultures.