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China - Government digital money app launches today in 23 pilot cities which is 1/5 of the population - April 4, 2022

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  • China - Government digital money app launches today in 23 pilot cities which is 1/5 of the population - April 4, 2022

    Have you used digital renminbi? There are 23 pilot cities, covering nearly one-fifth of the country's population

    Have you used digital renminbi? There are 23 pilot cities, covering nearly one-fifth of the country's population

      Since the beginning of March, the news that the third batch of digital renminbi pilot areas across the country will be unveiled has sparked heated discussions. Now, the boots finally landed.
      On April 2, the official website of the People's Bank of China issued a document stating that it had decided to expand the scope of the pilot program in an orderly manner at a symposium held by the People's Bank of China on the pilot work of digital RMB research and development.
      Judging from the newly added pilot areas, a total of 11 cities are involved, including Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, and 6 cities in Zhejiang Province that host the Asian Games (Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua).
    The third batch of digital renminbi pilot areas in the country unveiled Source: Visual China

      Previously, the digital renminbi had carried out two batches of pilot projects at the end of 2019 and November 2020, forming a "10+1" pattern (i.e. Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi'an, Qingdao, Dalian) and the Winter Olympics).
      At the same time, on April 2, it was also mentioned in the news released by the People's Bank of China that Beijing and Zhangjiakou City in Hebei Province will be converted into pilot areas after the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics scenarios are completed.
      This means that with the launch of the third batch of pilot areas, the pilot program of digital renminbi has expanded from the previous "10+1" pattern to the current 23 cities, which has more than doubled in number.
      From a national perspective, many provinces and cities have written digital renminbi into their development plans, and clearly proposed to actively strive for digital renminbi pilots.
      Why are these cities able to become pilot areas for digital renminbi? For digital renminbi, what results have been achieved in previous pilots? In the future, will digital renminbi payments often appear in supermarkets and vegetable markets?
      Why are these cities selected?
      From 2014 to 2016, the People's Bank of China established a legal digital currency research group to initiate research work related to legal digital currency. In 2016, the Digital Currency Research Institute was established and proposed the top-level design and basic characteristics of the digital renminbi that year.
      After years of research and development, at the end of 2019, the digital renminbi was piloted in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan, Chengdu and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. In November 2020, 6 new pilot areas including Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi'an, Qingdao, and Dalian were added, forming a "10+1" pilot pattern.
      Why are these regions included in the pilot scope of the digital renminbi? The "White Paper on the Research and Development Progress of China's Digital RMB" (hereinafter referred to as the "White Paper") released in July 2021 gives two reasons.
      On the one hand, the "White Paper" stated that the selection of pilot areas took into account factors such as major national development strategies, regional coordinated development strategies, and local industrial and economic characteristics.
      On the other hand, the "white paper" stated that the pilot area "covers different regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, central, western, northeastern, and northwestern regions, which is conducive to the test and evaluation of the application prospects of digital renminbi in different regions of my country."
      The Times Weekly reporter found that the third batch of pilot areas announced so far also conforms to the above two characteristics.
      For example, Chongqing, located in the western region, has played an important role in the national strategy of building the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle; Tianjin, located in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, also plays an important role in the national strategy for the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei.
      Guangzhou, located in the Pearl River Delta region, has the blessing of the national strategy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The six cities in Zhejiang Province hosting the Asian Games were included in the third batch of digital RMB pilots, and the considerations behind it are undoubtedly the same as the Winter Olympics becoming a pilot area.
      Data shows that the digital RMB pilot program covers more than 400,000 Winter Olympics scenarios, with a transaction amount of 9.6 billion yuan. The document issued by Beijing in March this year pointed out that it is necessary to summarize the experience in the construction of the payment service environment for the Beijing Winter Olympics, deepen the pilot program of digital renminbi, and gradually improve the convenience of international passenger payment.

      As an international sports competition, the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which will be held in September this year, will attract nearly 10,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries (regions) and more than 10 countries (regions) in Oceania. In addition, many technical representatives and media reporters participated.
      Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, for the digital RMB pilot, will undoubtedly help to further enrich the pilot scenarios and summarize the experience of improving the convenience of international passengers' payment.
      The Times Weekly reporter found that the expansion of the pilot scope is in line with the People's Bank of China's plan for the digital renminbi.
      The previously released "White Paper" pointed out that it is necessary to further expand the coverage of pilot test application scenarios, achieve full coverage of application scenarios in specific pilot areas, and build a digital RMB ecosystem.
      However, the "White Paper" also emphasizes that the pilot project of digital renminbi research and development will continue to be steadily promoted, and there is no preset launch timetable.
      The pilot scene increased by more than 6 times in half a year
      Previously, in the pilot process of digital renminbi, the number of "early adopters" was limited to a certain extent, mainly through whitelist invitations.
      On January 4 this year, the digital RMB (pilot version) App was launched in major app stores. The download instructions show that whitelisted users in the pilot areas selected by the designated digital renminbi operating agency can register for this app.
      However, on April 4, when a reporter from Times Weekly checked the digital RMB (pilot version) app in the Android app store, he found that the application introduction column reads: "Digital RMB will carry out research and development pilots in pilot areas and pilot scenarios, and pilot customers can register for digital RMB. APP", and there is no relevant words for "whitelist" users.
    On January 4, 2022, the digital RMB (pilot version) App was launched. Source: Visual China

      With the launch of the third batch of pilots, the scale of the population covered by the digital renminbi will be further expanded.
      A reporter from Times Weekly sorted out and found that judging from the 2020 national census, the 23 cities that have been included in the pilot program have a permanent population of more than 278 million.
      This means that the current digital renminbi pilot scope covers more than 278 million people, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the country's total population (1.443 billion people).
      From the perspective of pilot scenarios, the current digital renminbi mainly covers life payment, catering services, transportation, shopping consumption, government services and other fields, and the fields of use are constantly enriched.
      Taking Guangzhou, the third batch of pilot cities, as an example, after downloading and installing the "Digital RMB APP", a reporter from Times Weekly can successfully register and open digital RMB payment.
      Through the visit, the Times Weekly reporter found that some supermarkets, Vipshop, MINISO and other offline shops in Guangzhou can use digital renminbi for payment.
      In addition, Guangzhou citizens can also use digital renminbi to spend in takeaways, bicycles, grocery shopping and other scenarios on the Meituan platform, and receive Meituan's limited digital renminbi consumption gift package.
      In other words, Guangzhou citizens can register to use digital RMB, covering multiple online and offline scenarios.
      Since the second half of 2021, with the Winter Olympics scene and Meituan’s increased exploration of digital renminbi commercialization, the digital renminbi pilot scene, wallet opening and transaction amount have increased rapidly.
      In January this year, the data disclosed by the People's Bank of China showed that as of December 31, 2021, there were more than 8.0851 million digital RMB pilot scenarios, a total of 261 million personal wallets were opened, and the transaction amount was 87.565 billion yuan.
      The data disclosed in the "White Paper" shows that as of June 30, 2021, there have been more than 1.32 million digital RMB pilot scenarios, more than 20.87 million personal wallets have been opened, and the cumulative transaction amount is about 34.5 billion yuan.
      Comparing these two data, it can be found that in just half a year, the number of digital RMB pilot scenarios increased from 1.32 million to 8.0851 million, the number of opened personal wallets increased from more than 20.87 million to 261 million, and the transaction amount increased from 34.5 billion yuan. to 87.565 billion yuan.
      Yang Haiping, a researcher at the Securities and Futures Research Institute of the Central University of Finance and Economics, believed in an interview with a reporter from Times Weekly that with the emergence of early-stage innovations, the digital renminbi pilot program in 2022 will be appropriately accelerated under a stable tone.
      "According to the existing work foundation, further pilot measures will be launched in 2022 in terms of pilot areas, operating entities, application scenarios, wallet carriers, etc., and combined applications of different dimensions will be more abundant," said Yang Haiping.
      Yang Haiping believes that the next step should be to optimize the acceptance environment, cultivate usage habits, accelerate promotion, and allow more public to accept and use digital renminbi. At the same time, we can work with relevant entities to expand the mechanism of application scenarios, and continue to study and explore the interaction between digital RMB and existing electronic payment tools.
      In the future, with the further advancement of the pilot test, the digital renminbi may fly into the homes of ordinary people.

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  • #2
    bump this