Shanghai Flags Launch of Digital Renminbi Trials

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The Chinese financial hub of Shanghai is set to join the list of cities where trials of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) are taking place.

The Shanghai municipal government issued the “Shanghai Municipality Implementation Plan for Comprehensively Deepening Services Trade Innovation Development Trials” (上海市全面深化服务贸易创新发展试点实施方案) on 13 November.

The Plan calls for “driving the development of digital renminbi application trials,” as well as “optimising financial services supply and expanding the cross-border financial services scope.”

The move comes just following the release of a report by the Chinese central bank stating that “some work for the digital renminbi system has basically been completed.”

The Chinese central bank first announced in April 2020 that it had commenced trials of the CBDC in four cities around China including Shenzhen, Suzhou Xiong’an and Chengdu, following a five year research and development period that kicked off in 2014.

The digital renminbi has already been trialled at more than 6,700 sites around China according to a report from state-owned media in mid-November, across sectors including food and beverage, transportation, retail purchases and government services. 

According to the report the digital renminbi has already been used for transactions worth in excess of 1.1 billion yuan (approx. USD$166 million).

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