China to Expand Digital Yuan Trial to Four Whole Provinces

China's central bank will include more areas in its pilot program to further promote the use of the digital RMB.

Image Source : China Visual

Image Source : China Visual

BEIJING, September 20 (TMTPOST) – China will expand its digital yuan program to cover Guangdong, Jiangsu, Hebei and Sichuan from one city in each province now, according to a senior official at the People's Bank of China (PBOC).  

"Starting from the first four trial cities, China’s central bank in the next step will promote the gradual expansion of the pilot to the whole province in due course," said Fan Yifei, vice governor of the central bank PBoC, at an economic forum held on Monday.

Fan expressed his hope that the participating institutions and pilot regions will continue to innovate the application scenarios of the digital yuan and further improve the ecological system.

The digital RMB has great potential to support economic development, enhance financial inclusion and improve the operational efficiency of the currency and payment system. With the joint efforts of participating institutions and pilot regions, a replicable and promotable platform for the digital yuan has been formed across multiple sectors of retail & wholesale, catering, leisure, tourism, and government payment via both online and offline channels, according to Fan.

In April 2020, PBoC announced the first batch of pilot cities for the digital RMB, including Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong province, Suzhou in East China’s Jiangsu province, Xiongan New Area in North China’s Hebei province, and Chengdu in Southwest China’s Sichuan province.

In October 2020, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi'an, Qingdao, and Dalian were added to the pilot list. The third expansion in 2022 added Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, and Xiamen in Fujian Province, and six cities in Zhejiang Province, which hosted the 19th Asian Games, as pilot areas. Beijing and Zhangjiakou also became pilot areas after the Winter Olympics Games.

As of May 31, 2022, the number of cumulative digital RMB transactions in the pilot areas was about 264 million, with a value of about 83 billion RMB ($12.31 billion), and the number of merchants accepting digital RMB payments reached 4,567,000. The meeting of the PBoC on the work of the second half of 2022, held on August 1, highlighted the need to "expand the digital RMB pilot in an orderly manner."

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