China will begin extending pilot testing of its digital currency electronic payment (DC/EP) project to some of its biggest cities.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese Commerce Ministry will expand testing of the so-called ‘Digital Yuan’ to some of the biggest metropolitan areas of the country. This includes Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
China’s pilot programme for its DC/EP project has been ongoing in four cities over the past few months. The cities of Xiongan New Area, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu have all been involved in testing the pilot digital currency platform since April 2020.
Other cities may soon start testing the Chinese digital currency platform in the coming months.
Banks are also testing ‘Digital Yuan’
China’s biggest state-owned commercial banks began testing the DC/EP earlier this month and will be key in driving the continued testing of the pilot program as it expands to metropolitan areas.
The Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China have been working with the Chinese Central Bank to test the capabilities of the DCEP.
Reports from the South China Morning Post said that users involved in the trial of the pilot programme are able to top up accounts, withdraw money and make transfers after registering for the service using a phone number.
As The Daily Chain previously reported, the launch of the DC/EP could help Chinese banks compete with the monopoly on electronic and mobile payments currently held by Alibaba and Tencent and their respective payment services, Alipay and WeChat Pay.
China’s ‘Uber’ also involved
In July China’s ride-sharing giants Didi Chuxing announced that it had also signed a deal with the People’s Bank of China’s to test the digital Yuan.
According to Businesswire, Didi services over 550 million users across its transport services which includes taxis and bus hailing as well as car rental options.
This would allow its massive user base to take part in a trial of the DCEP pilot programme. It also gives those users an alternative payment option, with Alipay and WeChat Pay also payment service providers on the platform.