WeChat, China’s most popular social messaging and payment app with over a billion users, is scheduled to add a digital yuan payment option to its platform.
WeChat, which works as a messaging software similar to Whatsapp and Telegram and can also be used as a social media and payment app in China, is absolutely one of them. It’s possible that the integration may serve as an unofficial debut for digital yuan.
“Chinese consumers are so locked in WeChat Pay and Alipay, it’s not realistic to convince them to switch to a new mobile payment app. So it makes sense for the central bank to team up with WeChat Pay and Alipay as opposed to doing it on its own,” said Linghao Bao, an analyst at consultancy Trivium China.
China started developing its own national digital currency in 2014 and finished it by the end of 2019. Soon after, public testing began, and the technology has progressed from being used as a travel subsidiary by a few government personnel to currently being employed in a variety of industries, including retail and daily payments.
China might be planning to launch e-CNY in 2022?
The recent extension of digital yuan experiments, which were previously limited to a few areas across the country, suggests that a launch this year is likely. The experiments have been ongoing for more than two years, and industry insiders feel that the forthcoming Winter Olympics in February would be the ideal worldwide occasion for the launch of the digital yuan.
Currently, more than 100 countries throughout the world are working on developing their own national CBDC in some form. Russia, Japan, and South Korea are planning to start pilot programs for CBDC trials in 2022, but the United States has yet to develop any realistic CBDC plans. This year, France and Switzerland held their first cross-border trials, with many more set to follow soon.