· 2 min read

Chinese Firms Using Digital Yuan to Pay Electricity Bills

Solar power panels in a field in Shanghai, China.
Source: An Qi Wang/Adobe

Energy providers in China are adding digital yuan payment options, allowing companies and individuals to settle their bills in the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Per the news outlet Dizo, the city of Suzhou’s Xiangcheng District’s drainage and sanitation companies recently used the digital yuan to settle a power bill of around $83,000.

Adoption efforts are being spearheaded by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).

The SGCC is the nation’s biggest (and the world’s third-largest) power provider.

The SGCC’s Xiangcheng District affiliate, the local finance bureau, and the city’s business support center say they have set up “a working group” that will help corporate users and local government organs settle their bills using the CBDC.

The group said it would “continue to promote” e-CNY application scenarios in the energy sector.

And it wants to “continue to expand” the ways customers can use the digital yuan to pay for power.

State-owned public utility providers said they will “actively” help firms and individuals understand the “differences” between traditional and digital yuan payment methods.

They added that they would also hold “in-depth” workshop-type sessions to explain CBDC payment processes.

Chinese Firms Use CBDC to Pay Power Bills, Olympic Venues in Adoption Drive

The same media outlet also explained that a local metals firm, the Suzhou Chuangtai Alloy Materials Company, also used its digital yuan wallet to pay an electricity bill of about $73,000.

The SGCC’s local office also pledged to implement “full coverage” of digital yuan energy payments in the city.

Meanwhile, the Zhangjiakou Daily (via Hebnews) reported that the city of Zhangjiakou, which hosted events during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, will roll out a range of digital yuan applications.

The city’s Olympic Games-related facilities are being repurposed for use in the leisure sector.

Many of these will be refitted to allow visitors to pay for goods, facility usage, and other services using the CBDC.

A wide range of businesses in the city – including supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and restaurants – will start accepting digital yuan payments.

The city’s pension systems, trade union branches, and housing agencies will also start using IT solutions that let them make and receive e-CNY payments.

Earlier this week, the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said it plans to “explore and promote” projects that may “add digital yuan payment functions” to citizens’ social security cards.

The nation has also been piloting network- and electricity-free CBDC payments on public transport networks.