A recent report from Global Times China, a state-directed media outfit, reveals that a number of Chinese cities participated in a campaign to promote the country's Central Bank Digital Currency, the e-CNY.
About $26.6 million worth of e-CNY was distributed across the country, with Jinan in East China's Shandong Province and Lianyungang in East China's Jiangsu Province issuing digital yuan as the holiday season for the Spring Festival commenced. According to the Global Times, certain local governments such as those from Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province resorted to providing subsidies for local businesses, with the intent of boosting recovery for the catering services industry. Some 100 million e-CNY worth about $14.7 million was reportedly doled out for this sector.
These efforts were joined in by the country's private commercial sector, with businesses across diverse sectors such as consumer tech, communications, transportation, and tourism all doing their fair share of work to promote the CBDC. These initiatives can be seen as part of a nationwide effort to promote the CBDC as a more convenient payment method, providing options and financial mobility for its citizens.
As early as 2021, China has been progressing with the introduction and implementation of its CBDC initiative, for which Android and iOS builds have been made available by the PBOC (People’s Bank of China) for mass use. Roughly two years after its initial launch, e-CNY transactions have crossed the 100 billion yuan ($14 billion, in USD) threshold, with the digital currency proving to be a staple among users with an inclination for ease of use.
China has gained notoriety among policy shapers for crypto and digital assets, with its total ban of crypto trading and decentralized platforms within its jurisdiction. It remains to be seen, however, whether this momentum for the CBDC will gain better traction over time. A seamless and intuitive user experience for the native e-CNY app should be thoroughly studied and implemented across the board, if only to attract more users and gain the scale of adoption towards which the Chinese government envisions to achieve.
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