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Banks Flock to Chinese Digital Yuan Pilot – 60 Now Offer CBDC Wallets

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A selection of Chinese 100 yuan banknotes.
Source: Sean K/Adobe

Nine more banks have joined China’s digital yuan pilot, bolstering the number of banks offering CBDC wallets to 60.

Per Beijing Business Today (via Sohu), the latest batch of commercial banks to join the pilot include three big city-based banks and six rural banks.

City-based banks joining the pilot this month:

  • Zhejiang Tailong Commercial Bank
  • Bank of Rizhao
  • Ningbo Commerce Bank

Rural banks joining the pilot this month:

  • Jiangyin Rural Commercial Bank
  • Wuxi Rural Commercial Bank
  • Kunshan Rural Commercial Bank
  • Taicang Rural Commercial Bank
  • Shunde Rural Commercial Bank
  • Jiangnan Rural Commercial Bank

The pilot began with four banks: the Bank of China, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, and the Agricultural Bank of China joining the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

A Bank of China ATM.
Source: SCJiang (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A total of nine Chinese megabanks are now PBoC “designated operators.”

Also offering digital yuan wallets are eight joint-stock banks.

The group also comprises 20 city-based commercial banks and 14 rural commercial banks.

Five rural credit providers have also joined the pilot, as well as four foreign banks, including the financial giants HSBC and Standard Chartered.

The banks offer a range of digital yuan-related services, including personal and corporate wallets.

E-pay giants such as Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’sWeChat Pay are also taking part in the pilot, another major coup for the PBoC.

Chinese Banks Eye ‘Next Phase’ of Digital Yuan Pilot

The media outlet quoted the Chinese fintech expert Su Xiaorui as stating that the “next phase of the digital yuan pilot” would see “people and enterprises in more regions” make use of the coin.

The pilot zone already encompasses the capital Beijing, along with most of China’s biggest tech hubs and major cities.

But large parts of the country have yet to experience using the CBDC, with the PBoC refusing to commit itself to a nationwide rollout date.

Su claimed that 2024 would see the PBoC and its partners step up their use of the CBDC “in government operations and cross-border scenarios.”

Cross-border CBDC expansion began in Hong Kong earlier this year, but has since spread to Singapore and Taiwan.

The expert concluded that Chinese banks would look to make more digital yuan-related “retail and corporate” progress in 2024.