Banking News

Rumors that McDonald’s, Starbucks in China’s digital currency tests

digital yuan China

According to an unconfirmed report in the Chinese press, it’s claimed some of the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) tests will involve catering, retail and entertainment outlets, including branches of McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway.

Other areas it will be tested include the JD unmanned supermarket as well as autonomous cars.

While this sounds high tech, the latest tests are planned for the Xiong’an New District, one of the four districts previously confirmed to be part of the pilots. Because it’s a new district, it’s being designed as a Smart City. Hence doing more extensive pilots there makes complete sense.

The district’s Development and Reform Bureau is involved in the digital currency / electronic (DCEP) payment test as well as the local branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the central bank. Other participants include Alipay and Tencent, which owns digital wallet WeChat Pay.

However, unlike previous reports, the news was published primarily in the blockchain press as opposed to mainstream Chinese news sites. It also cannot be found on the main source site, implying it may have been removed. That could mean there is no desire to see it published it, rather than it is false.

But it’s likely there will be increasing numbers of reports following the leak last week of screenshots of a digital yuan wallet app which was to be used for transport subsidies. These were later verified, but it was emphasized that they were ‘internal tests’. Plus hints were given that the CBDC is being planned for launch sometime next year, to be ready for use in the area hosting the winter Olympics in February 2022.

Some time back we reported on 22 companies that were involved in the core development of the digital currency.


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