The Chinese central bank has flagged a major expansion of its trials of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), commonly referred to as the digital renminbi.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced on 2 April that digital renminbi trials would expand to 11 more cities around China.
These cities will include the major metropolises of Tianjin, Chongqing and the Guangdong province capital of Guangzhou, as well as the cities of Fuzhou and Xiamen in Fujian province.
Six cities in Zhejiang province set to participate in the Asian Olympic Games will also be added to the trials, including Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua.
The inclusion of these 11 new cities marks the third expansion of China’s digital renminbi trials since they were first launched in early 2020.
The trials which commenced in early 2020 were originally confined to the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Xiong’an New District, before subsequently spreading to Changsha, Dalian, Hainan, Qingdao, Shanghai and Xi’an by April 2021.
In expanding the trials, PBOC called for the development of policies to “spur the creativity and enthusiasm of banks, tech companies and local governments in developing and promoting the digital renminbi,” as well as for competition to be encouraged.