Chinese State-Owned Bank Releases Test App for Digital Yuan

A Chinese state-owned bank appears to have released a mobile test app that supports the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s digital yuan project. The test app was issued by the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).

April 15, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – China’s anticipated central bank digital currency (CBDC) may be closer to its launch, as per a screenshot circulating the internet. While testing should be entirely confidential, the leaked photo is hinting the test version of a mobile app developed by a large state-owned bank.

Ling Zhang, executive director of M&A, Global Fiat, at cryptocurrency exchange Binance first shared the images on April 14, later retweeted by the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

A test app for China’s digital yuan

Information from a few weeks ago indicated that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) had finished its CBDC development processes. As AtoZ Markets reported, PBoC and all of the associates on the project were already working on receiving proper legislation.

While some speculated that those are merely rumors, new local report says otherwise. It states that the ABC, one of the largest state-owned banks in the country, has developed a test version of a mobile app linked to the CBDC.

The report based its findings on an alleged screenshot of the user interface of the app. In the past 24 hours, the image has been circulating the internet and especially on Chinese social media.

Chinese State-Owned Bank Releases Test App for Digital Yuan

The same source has confirmed the screenshot’s nature, saying, “this leak offers the first look into what China’s digital currency may look like for the general public.”Per an undisclosed source, several state-owned banks have been testing the sovereign digital yuan for months now, despite the delay prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, he also explained that all testing is “supposed to be confidential at this stage.”

Neither the nation’s central bank nor the ABC has released any details on the exact purpose of the app at the time of this writing.

Four cities selected for the trial

According to Ling Zhang, the app is available for download in four cities selected for the initial trial. These cities include Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan. She highlights the inclusion of Xiongan, a new metropolis located on the outskirts of Beijing, which has been the site of a so-dubbed “smart city brain project.”

The Xiongan New Area will have enhanced intelligent infrastructure that spans satellite information services. This also includes a 5G network, sensor recognition, big data, and supercomputing facilities.

Reports show that the city has attracted the country’s tech giants, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. President Xi Jinping has visited the place on multiple occasions.

Read: BIS: Adopting CBDCs Is the Right Approach Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The test app’s features

Despite the lacking confirmation from the banks behind the CBDC, the report outlined several basic functions noticeable from the screenshot. For starters, the app appears to be operating similarly to other online payment platforms such as Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay.

It also illustrates a feature called touch and touch. It allows two people utilizing the app at the same time to simply touch their mobile devices. The app also allows them to execute a money transfer immediately.

The test version of the app doesn’t have any additional add-ons popular amongst Chinese online payment services. Those include the ability to buy travel and entertainment tickets, pay utility bills, and even borrow small amounts of money.

What do you think about China’s apparent “execution speed” in rolling out its trial for its digital yuan? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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