Chinese numerals are characters for writing numbers in Chinese. Today speakers of Chinese use three numeral systems: the Indian (Arabic) system used world-wide and two indigenous systems.
The more familiar indigenous system are Chinese characters that correspond to numerals in the spoken language. These are shared with other languages of the Chinese cultural sphere such as Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Most people and institutions in China primarily use the Indian (Arabic) system for convenience, with traditional Chinese numerals used in finance, mainly for writing amounts on checks and banknotes and some ceremonial occasions.[
The other indigenous system is the Suzhou numerals, or huama, a positional system. It is the only surviving form of the rod numerals. They were once used by Chinese mathematicians, and later in Chinese markets, such as those in Hong Kong before the 1990s, but has been gradually supplanted by the Arabic numerals and also the Roman numerals.
The Chinese character numeral system consists of the Chinese characters used by the Chinese written language to write spoken numerals. Similar to spelling-out numbers in English (e.g., "one thousand nine hundred forty-five"), it is not an independent system per se. Since it reflects spoken language, it does not use the positional system as in Arabic numerals, in the same way that spelling out numbers in English does not.
Characters used to represent numbers
There are characters representing the numbers zero through nine, and other characters representing larger numbers such as tens, hundreds, thousands and so on. There are two sets of characters for Chinese numerals: one for everyday writing and one for use in commercial or financial contexts known as dàxiě (simplified Chinese: 大写; traditional Chinese: 大寫). The latter arose because the characters used for writing numerals are geometrically simple, so simply using those numerals cannot prevent forgeries in the same way spelling numbers out in English would. A forger could easily change everyday characters 三十 (30) to 五千 (5000) by adding just a few strokes. That would not be possible when writing using the financial characters 參拾 (30) and 伍仟 (5000). They are also referred to as "banker's numerals", "anti-fraud numerals", or "banker's anti-fraud numerals." For the same reason, rod numerals were never used in commercial records.
T denotes Traditional Chinese characters, S denotes Simplified Chinese characters.