The new wallet of China’s state-issued digital currency has quickly become one of the most downloaded applications in the country, within days of its launch. According to media reports, digital yuan payments are on the rise due to their integration.
Launching Wallet Boosts Digital Yuan in Time for Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics
In the week after it was offered to the public, the digital yuan (e-CNY) wallet has placed among China’s most downloaded apps. On Wednesday, a day after its premiere, its downloads exceeded those of Tencent’s Wechat, and it became the most popular app on Apple’s iOS, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting market researchers. By Monday, it was also the second most downloaded financial app in Xiaomi’s app store.
While the eCNY app can be downloaded widely, only a few areas of it are currently available. The Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the developer of the software, is collaborating with authorities in 10 pilot cities including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiongan, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Beijing, where it has handed out digital yuan amounts as part of red envelope campaigns.
Launching the application is part in efforts to promote China’s central bank digital currency, (CBDC), ahead of February 1st. This date is a good time to give red packets or publication notes. The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held on February 4, will begin during the holiday. Visitors to capital venues will have the ability to use the eCNY to pay their bills without the need to open a local account.
The digital yuan can be spent through other payment apps as well such as Alipay and Wechat Pay, which account for 90% of China’s mobile payments market. The CBDC is also available in the applications of seven Chinese banks – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Postal Savings Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank.
According to a report by China.org.cn, e-CNY payments have seen a “stratospheric rise” in the past week since the currency became available across Chinese mobile apps. Meituan, a local services firm, reported that digital yuan-denominated payment transactions saw an almost 43% rise after it integrated its app with the eCNYWallet. Also, the value of transactions increased by 64% in the week preceding the launch.
China’s digital yuan is arguably the world’s most advanced CBDC, ahead of similar projects in the U.S., EU, and Russia. In November, a PBOC official stated that nearly $10 billion in digital currency transactions had taken place. A total of 140 million Chinese citizens had an account with a digital Yuan as of October. While promoting the eCNY, Beijing announced a crackdown last year on cryptocurrencies.
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