More Chinese cities will be added to the nation’s digital yuan pilot – with a rollout edging closer to reality.
Per the newspaper the Workers’ Daily, the city of Jinan, Shandong Province, will be added to the pilot area. Also joining the pilot will be Nanning and Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as Yunnan Province’s Kunming. The Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture will also be added.
The latter is an autonomous prefecture for ethnic Dai peoples, located in the very south of Yunnan Province.
The move sees the pilot move into somewhat unfamiliar technology. While the first batch of pilot cities comprised IT and financial powerhouses in the East of the country – the likes of Shanghai and Beijing – Yunnan’s economy is much more traditional. The province’s biggest industries include tobacco producers, agricultural firms, mining companies, and tourism operators.
Guangxi borders Vietnam and is famous for its mineral reserves and rice production.
Jinan, meanwhile, is a major rail hub and an up-and-coming industrial center in Shandong. The province is another part of China popular with tourists due to its natural beauty.
Introductory giveaways have also been launched on some e-commerce platforms. Lucky draw participants in the new pilot cities are in line to win over $11 worth of digital yuan tokens if they download wallets on their mobile devices.
An International Stage for the Digital Yuan
Late last month, political leaders hinted that Mainland China and Hong Kong would soon co-launch the digital CNY’s first cross-border pilot project. And earlier this month, the payments Alipay and the e-commerce platform Taobao stated they would integrate digital CNY features.
The organizers of next year’s Asian Games – to be held in Hangzhou from September to October 2023 – are also preparing to showcase the token to a wider international audience. Athletes, coaches, and media representatives attending the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics became the first global participants to experience the digital yuan firsthand earlier this year.
“Hard” digital yuan wallets were distributed at the event, and the Olympic village’s outlets were all adapted to only accept payments made either in e-CNY or using Visa cards. A similar scenario is already on the cards for Hangzhou next year – where international spectators will likely be invited for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Hangzhou 2023 organizers last week unveiled a series of “hard” (offline) wristband-style wallets that feature the games’ mascots.
The coin is also known as the DC/EP or DCEP in China.