Domestic media reports that trials of the digital renminbi have commenced in Shanghai with the participation of one of China’s big state-owned banks.
According to a 29 December report from Cai Lianshe ( 财联社) one of China’s big state-owned banks is providing digital renminbi wallets to a select group of users in Shanghai.
The focus so far is reportedly on testing the account opening experience, with no specific usage scenarios outllined at present.
The trial scheme involves both the bank’s own employees, as well as a limited number of external participants who have been invited by staff.
Some of the big state-owned banks have also been reaching out to enterprises in the Shanghai area to promote their digital renminbi services, with a special focus upon established customers and those that own POS devices.
On 10 December Shanghai issued its recommendations for China’s 14th Five year Plan, which in its case include “actively competing for digital currency application trials, and accelerating the establishment of Shanghai as a fintech centre.”
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) publicly announced in April that it was commencing trials of the digital renminbi in four main sites round China, including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an and Chengdu.
In the past two months local authorities have staged two large-scale “lotteries” to distribute the renminbi to consumers – a 10 million yuan lottery held in Shenzhen in October and a 20 million yuan lottery held in Suzhou during the 12 December e-commerce shopping festival.
According to domestic sources these trial cities could soon expand by six to include Shanghai, Changsha, Hainan, Qingdao, Dalian and Xi’an.