The fourth series of the renminbi was introduced between 1987 and 1997 by the People's Bank of China. The theme of this series was that under the governance of the Chinese Communist Party, the various peoples of China would be united in building a Chinese-style social democracy.
To present this theme, the ¥100 note features four people important to the founding of the People's Republic of China: Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhu De. The ¥50 note features an intellectual, a farmer, and an industrial worker, characteristic Chinese communist images. The other banknotes show portraits of people from 14 different ethnic groups found in China, especially ethnic minorities.
Banknotes were introduced in denominations of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 yuan. Coins were introduced in denominations of 0.1, 0.5 and 1 yuan. The banknotes were dated 1980, 1990, or 1996 to indicate different editions. Unlike the second and the third series, they are still legal tender although only the smaller denominations (smaller than ¥1) remain in widespread circulation.