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The state-issued digital yuan is one of China’s most downloaded apps within a week of launching, ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Chinese digital yuan (e-CNY) wallet is one of the nation’s most downloaded apps barely seven days after launching. Media reports state that the state-issued digital currency’s use and integration with other apps is proving favorable. This has led to big numbers in digital yuan payments across select cities in China.
Despite its recent launch, the digital yuan is already posing a threat to the consumer payment market dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay. In fact, a day after its premiere, its downloads surpassed those of the Tencent-owned WeChat. According to market researchers, this subsequently led to the e-CNY wallet becoming the most popular app on Apple’s iOS. Furthermore, the digital yuan app retained the top spot through Saturday before eventually ceding that position to mobile video-sharing app Kuaishou.
By Monday, the digital yuan wallet ranked second among the most downloaded financial apps on Xiaomi’s app store. However, it was at the 43rd position on Huawei’s store on Monday, representing a 10-spot climb from the previous day. Both Xiaomi and Huawei app stores are popular options for Android users in mainland China due to Google Play’s unavailability in the county.
The Digital Yuan’s ‘Most Downloaded’ Status Seems Promising Ahead of the Imminent Beijing Winter Olympics
The substantial reception garnered by the e-CNY app bodes well for the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) promotion efforts. Officially dubbed the Digital Currency and Electronic Payment (DCEP), the initiative is a major feature promoted ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics. The event will take place primarily in Beijing, the country’s capital city, in addition to Yanqing and Chongli.
Although the digital yuan is widely available for download, it is only applicable in select areas at the moment. The developer, the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China , is currently working with authorities in 10 pilot cities. These include Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiongan, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Beijing, where residents received digital yuan as part of promotional campaigns.
The Digital Currency Research Institute has long been studying the implementation of a digital yuan. Officially, e-CNY trials began in 2020. Now, visitors at the winter Olympics commencing on February 4th will be able to use the digital yuan. Furthermore, the PBoC earlier stated that foreigners can use e-CNY without a local bank account. The decision to make foreigners privy to the state-issued token is to test its overseas appeal.
The digital yuan is spendable through other payment apps as well – most notably Alipay and Wechat Pay. The duo makes up about 90% of China’s mobile payments market. In addition, the CBDC is also available via seven Chinese banks. They are Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Bank of Communications. Rounding out the group are Postal Savings Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank.