Zimbabwe to adopt China’s currency the yuan Questions raised with plan to make the yuan legal tender in exchange for debt cancellation worth about $40m. Zimbabwe plans to adopt the Chinese yuan as legal tender in return for debt cancellation worth about $40m – a move one economist predicted “has no future at all”. China has become the largest investor in Zimbabwe, which has been shunned by the West over its human rights record and is struggling to emerge from a deep 1999-2008 recession that forced the government to ditch its own currency in 2009. Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced the plan in a statement on Monday and said the use of the yuan “will be a function of trade between China and Zimbabwe and acceptability with customers in Zimbabwe”. Inside Story: Can India challenge China’s dominance in Africa? In the last five years, Zimbabwe has received more than $1bn in low-interest loans from china which is Harare’s largest trading partner after south africa.