Starbucks, Subway, and McDonald’s are among the 19 retail businesses that will be trialing China’s digital yuan in one of the country’s pilot program cities. Per reports, China has already started testing its digital currency in a real-world setting in order to improve the currency’s functionality.
Starbucks, Subway And McDonald’s To Participate In Testing Digital Yuan
According to a Chinese-based news outlet, one of the cities that will be hosting the digital yuan pilot tests, Xiong’an New District, held a pilot promotion meeting on Wednesday (April 22, 2020) afternoon.
The meeting was organized by the Reform and Development Bureau of Xiong’an New District Management Committee and digital currency researchers and pilot merchants were welcome to participate.
The publication noted that the use-tests of the digital yuan in Xiong’an will be primarily focused on retail and catering companies. The testing in Suzhou, on the other hand, will involve transportation subsidies.
The meeting was attended by a number of reps from government institutions like sub-branches of the People’s Bank of China, and also the implementation team for digital yuan pilot work.
The institutions involved in the research of digital currency like Ant Financial and Tencent also graced the meeting with their presence.
More importantly, the meeting involved heads of various notable retail chains like Subway, McDonald’s, and Starbucks, and others. However, the local news outlet does not state when these tests will officially begin or when they will conclude.
The testing of the digital yuan in Xiong’an is part of the country’s plan to develop a digital city in Xiong’an New District. On September 25 last year, the Smart City Federation unveiled a project that aims at digitizing government affairs as well as creating an overall digital life for the citizens.
Xiong’an was the first to trial the 5G network besides digital currency and blockchain technology. Remarkably, the Smart City initiative is led by well-known companies like Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, and Ping An.
China Remains Hell-Bent On Being The Bellwether Of Central Bank Digital Currencies
Notably, China’s central bank was among the first central banks to being research and development of a homegrown digital currency.
The country has continued with the developments despite the novel coronavirus threatening to thwart their plans. Just last week, it was revealed that one of China’s state-owned banks, the Agricultural Bank of China has already developed a mobile application for testing the country’s central bank digital currency (also known as the DC/EP).
Moreover, the mobile wallet app which is available for download will allow testing in four cities in China including Suzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Xiong’an.
This just goes to show that China has accelerated the development and deployment of its digital currency in recent months. The country hopes to ultimately become the first major nation to successfully roll out a central bank-backed digital currency.