Alipay, the Chinese e-payment giant, has announced that it will allow its users to participate in the emerging digital yuan commerce ecosystem.
It has been reported by China Securities Journal this new feature is a result of MYbank’s participation in the country’s expanded digital currency electronic payment testing protocols.
However, the news further cements Ant Group’s participation in China’s central bank digital currency project. Indeed, the conglomerate owns a majority stake in MYbank, one of the largest internet-only banks in the country.
Ant Group said:
“As one of the participants in the trial of the e-CNY, Ant Group’s associate MYbank will steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People’s Bank of China. Ant Group, together with MYbank, will also continue to support the research, development and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY.”
The report said that Ant Group has been collaborating with the PBoC on digital currencies since 2017. China’s central bank is reportedly using the firm’s mobile app development environment to create digital yuan-linked apps. While MYbank is moving toward allowing users to interact with the digital currency, Tencent-backed digital bank WeBank is yet to activate any bridge for customers to the digital yuan. Both online banks were announced as the first private financial institutions to join the digital yuan testing ecosystem back in February.
Alipay users may soon be able to spend the digital yuan right from their app. https://t.co/rZVtlwgEbB — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 10, 2021
The testing arena is dominated by six state banks, some of whom have created user wallets for the digital yuan. The PBoC continues to promote the digital yuan’s utilization via a litany of airdrops and lotteries in several cities.
Thus, these adoption events often target shopping festivals, with merchants encouraged to accept the currency as a payment means.