Three Chinese internet giants, ride-hailing service, DiDi, food-delivery app, Meituan, and video platform, Bilibili, are participating in the country’s latest test with digital yuan in the city of Suzhou.
Local business media, CLS reported on Friday that the three companies, which already partnered with the People Bank of China earlier this year, will directly participate in testing the ambitious Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP).
This development came a week after the local Suzhou government decided to distribute 20 million yuan, around $3 million, to the city residents through a lottery. This is the largest digital currency testing launched by any Chinese city so far.
Earlier, the city of Shenzhen distributed $1 million in digital yuan.
Many Partners Onboard
Though multiple commercial banking partners of the central bank are participating in the Suzhou city trial, services with each of them will be limited. Lottery-winners activating their DC/EP wallets with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China can spend the digital yuan on DiDi ride-hailing services or Meituan’s bike-sharing.
On the other hand, Bilibili’s services will be accessible to the digital yuan holders activating their wallets with the Bank of China.
The Chinese central bank is inching closure to launch the digital version of the renminbi. Though no fixed launch date is set yet, the increasing scale of the tests is indicating positive signals.
After testing in several cities and provinces in the mainland, the PBoC is now in talks with its Hong Kong counterpart to test digital yuan in the special administrative region. However, that is only to test the cross border features of the DC/EP.