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420,000+ Merchants in Changsha, China Accept CDBC Pay – Is Digital Yuan Adoption on the Rise?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A stone statue of Chairman Mao in Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
Source: Stripped Pixel/Adobe

More than 420,000 merchants in Changsha, China, now accept payments in the digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The city, located in Hunan Province, was added to the pilot in April 2021.

In February this year, Changsha authorities said that 300,000 merchants in the city were processing digital yuan payments.

But the same authorities now say that figure has leaped up above the 420,000 mark, the Changsha Evening News reported (via the Hunan Daily).

Changsha officials have claimed that the reported number of digital yuan wallets in the city, which stands at 22 million, only includes physical businesses and not online vendors. 

The city has also stated that 800,000 “public” wallets have been opened for use by firms and government organizations based in Changsha. 

In total, since the digital yuan pilot began, there have been a reported 62 million transactions in the city.

Changsha said that the total value of these transactions was over $1.4 billion.

Located in central China, the city is one of the nation’s most populous.

Over 10 million people live in the city itself and many more reside in the surrounding Greater Changsha Metropolitan Region.

CBDC on the Rise in China: Digital Yuan Gaining Ground?

According to the data released by the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the “popularity” of mobile payments reached the 90% mark last year.

The PBoC has begun cross-border pilots with Hong Kong and Macau, which will allow Beijing to test the CBDC in international markets.

Although Hong Kong is officially part of China, it retains a separate economic system.

This system is linked to Western and other Asian economies.

Macau also has a separate currency and economic system.

Some Hong Kong-based securities firms have recently suggested that a digital yuan link with Mainland China could allow entities based in Chinese cities to finance initial public offerings (IPOs).

This could well allow the digital yuan to find usage cases in “international markets,” as the PBoC continues to hunt for new CBDC breakthroughs.