Starbucks, Mcdonald’s, and Subway to Test Chinese Digital Yuan

Starbucks and McDonald’s are reportedly among 19 restaurants and retail shops that will be involved in testing China’s digital yuan. The trials could take place in the city of Xiong’an New Area.

April 23, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The Reformation and Development Commission of the Xiong’An district in Hebei province reportedly convened a meeting on Wednesday regarding the rollout of a pilot for China’s digital yuan initiative, a local news outlet reported on Thursday, citing a government document.

19 pilot merchants to test Chinese digital yuan

The move signals China’s wider efforts to test out the digital currency project with state-owned commercial banks already developing wallet applications for the digital yuan, also known as DC/EP.

Several digital currency research and development institutions and pilot merchants attended the meeting, according to the news report. Those included the Xiongan development and reform bureau, working teams piloting the digital currency from a subsidiary of the PBoC. Representatives from Tencent and Alipay were also present.

Notable names include McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, JD Supermarkets in the area, among others. The report does not specify when the test would likely start or how long they’ll last.

Agricultural Bank of China piloting a wallet app for the digital yuan

AtoZ Markets reported last week that the Agricultural Bank of China has already developed a test user interface for a DC/EP wallet that features how the digital yuan would be transacted. Aside from the Xiongan testing grounds, CBDC trials are operated in Shenzhen, Suzhou, and Chengdu.

Another local news outlet reported last Thursday that the testing being rolled out in Suzhou involves issuing transportation allowances for local government officials in the form of digital yuan.

Read: China to Pay Government Employees With Its Digital Yuan in May

The People’s Bank of China confirmed last Friday the ongoing testing does not mean the digital yuan has been launched officially. Earlier this year, the central bank said the digital currency is “progressing smoothly” and that its “top-level” design has been completed. The official launch date, however, still remains unknown.

Accelerating CBDCs

Facebook’s project Libra, the one who might have started it all, recently went through a substantial change of plans. The new “Libra 2.0” will be more centralized. Also, it could create a series of various digital coins, backed by a different government currency.

The increasing interest and developments towards CBDCs brought attention from world watchdogs. G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently made ten recommendations for a common regulation on stablecoins, including CBDCs and Libra.

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