According to Tencent Financial, the wealthy in China use a number of means to transfer large amounts of money out of China.
Underground banks conduct the largest share of this type of business. When funds are deposited into an account in an underground bank in China, the client can withdraw the foreign equivalent from an overseas account at the same bank. A second method is currency exchange agents. They secure enough people who will lend their residence cards to exchange up to $50,000 per residence card. Therefore, for one large transfer, it may take days or even weeks to locate enough people.
Other methods include import and export trading companies that engage in money laundering as a side business. Gambling in Macao provides another channel to transfer funds out of China. Some people set up an offshore company and transfer funds little by little through an intermediary. This approach takes a long time and requires expertise in international accounting principles.
A lesser known method is to purchase U.S. real estate investment funds. Then at the end of the investment period, the funds remain in the U.S. Some people in Southern China purchase insurance policies from the Hong Kong market. The high premium insurance allows the policy holder to cancel and to change the beneficiary. Once the insured or the beneficiary arrives in Hong Kong, they cancel the insurance and receive a refund of the premium.
Source: Tencent Financial, July 10, 2014