Chinese Man Uses Digital Yuan to Pay Court-issued Fine in Legal First

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe/S.Gvozd


Chinese media outlets have been reporting on a new first for the digital yuan – with the central bank-issued token used to pay a court-issued fine for the first time.

Per Chinaqw, on April 19, a man surnamed Wei, the plaintiff in a motor vehicle traffic accident liability dispute case, had been handed a fine of just over USD 105 by the People’s Court in the Lucheng District of Wenzhou, a city in Zhejiang Province.

But rather than pay the court by bank transfer, he instead decided to pay using the digital yuan, a transaction for which he “received a payment invoice” – and marking a legal first for the token.

Wei was quoted as telling the media outlet that the payment was “very convenient,” and that he had “just had to click on the phone and it was done.”

And it seems that the court officials were more than willing to see Wei opt for digital yuan payment – they even helped him to install a state-operated digital CNY application on his smartphone, and guide him through the process, with the payment “completed in less than a few minutes.”

Liu Wan Cheng, the head of the Lucheng District People’s Court, stated that people would be completely free to choose which form of payment they wished to use when paying fines – and could opt for cash or bank transfers if they preferred. However, adding digital CNY payment options, Liu added, would help the court become compatible with its vision of becoming a “globalized digital court.”

Liu was quoted as saying:

“The addition of the digital yuan as a payment option will not replace other payment methods options. On the contrary, it will provide [people] with more choice.”

But Liu added that using the digital CNY helped speed up the process of paying fines, noting that the money “reaches the court account immediately and safely,” with automatic case-number matches, and “immediate” payment certificate issuance. For courts, too, he hinted, the token could provide an efficiency and transparency boost.

As its “next step,” the Lucheng District People’s Court stated that it would “cooperate” with relevant government departments to “continue to expand application” in digital yuan litigation fee payments, looking to provide court payments using the token – possibly, for instance, in cases where courts award damages or refunds.

The court added that this would help “improve the public’s litigation experience,” as well as boost “judicial credibility and public access” to the legal system.
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