These are the numerals that were used in the Oracle Bone Script from the 14th century BC. Later numerals used in Chinese developed from these
Rod numerals or counting rods were a positional numeral system used by merchants, mathematicians and astronomers from the Han Dynasty to the 16th century.
The Suzhou numerals system is a version of the rod numeral systems that were formerly used in China. The Suzhou numerals developed from the Southern Song rod numerals. They were a positional system used as a form of shorthand in bookkeeping and accounting, and were popular in markets, particularly in Hong Kong, until the 1990s, since when they have been replaced by Western numerals. These numerals are also known as 花碼 [花码] (huā mǎ)
The complex numerals are used on cheques, banknotes and coins and are the equivalent of writing 'one', 'two', 'three', etc, rather than 1, 2, 3. The simple numerals are used for everything else.
Large numbers are divided into units of ten thousand, so 1 million is one hundred ten-thousands.
Information about Chinese numerals
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Page last modified: 26.05.21
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