A major Chinese tech firm expands the use of its digital currency

A major Chinese tech firm expands the use of its digital currency

January 31, 2022: -Chinese food delivery and local services giant Meituan has expanded how China’s digital currency can be used on its platform to make purchases.

It is one more sign of technology companies helping to promote China’s digital fiat currency as the central bank of the country looks to increase the number of people using it.

Users can download the digital yuan, or e-CNY app, and link it to their Meituan app. From then on, they can use digital currency to pay, from movie tickets to taxis and hotels.

Meituan had over 660 million transacting users who used its services in the 12 months of September 30. It’s one of China’s food delivery giants and allows consumers to access lots of different offline services such as booking hotels.

The Beijing-headquartered company is the latest tech companies to help promote the digital yuan, known by its official name Digital Currency Electronic Payment.

The People’s Bank of China started working on digital currency in 2014, and it’s designed to replace cash and coins in circulation. It is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin and works very differently.

Earlier this month, Chinese internet giant Tencent began supporting the digital yuan in its hugely popular WeChat messaging and payments app. And online retailer JD.com said this month it would start facilitating third-party merchants that sell on its platform to accept the e-CNY.

To date, the PBOC has done several pilot projects that handed out digital yuan in the form of lotteries and encouraged users to spend it.

The number of individual digital yuan users climbed to 261 million by the end of 2021. Although, transaction volumes and users are still significantly lower than the two dominant mobile payment platforms in China, WeChat Pay, and Alipay.

Experts then question the incentives for people to sign up to use the digital yuan versus the other two payments apps.

Users who access the digital yuan via Meituan will receive some subsidies to spend, a move that could help incentivize the adoption of the currency.

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A major Chinese tech firm expands the use of its digital currency