Beijing-based food delivery and consumer sales giant Meituan-Dianping has joined the exclusive cohort of companies participating in trials of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), or digital currency electronic payments (DC/EP) system.
Sina reported on 15 July that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) plans to include Meituan-Dianping’s online platform in tests of its digital currency, marking a “step forward for comprehensive use of the digital renminbi.”
Meituan currently has around 435 million active users, who engage in daily transactions worth several billion US dollars, providing huge opportunities for DC/EP testing.
According to sources Meituan will work with PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute on the use of CBDC for electronic payments, with the cooperative details yet to be finalised.
Sources also said that PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute is currently in discussions with streaming platform Bili Bili for CBDC testing.
PBOC announced 8 July that its Digital Currency Research Institute executed a strategic cooperative agreement with DiDi Chuxing.
China first commenced research into the development of a CBDC in 2014, with PBOC officials alluding to the “imminent” release of a statutory digital currency at a press conference in August 2019.
PBOC announced at the end of April 2020 that it had commenced internal testing of DC/EP at locations including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an New District and Chengdu, as well as at sites for the Winter Olympics.
Trials at Xiong’an will include the participation of a number leading overseas franchises, including McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks.