China’s Testing its CBDC on Tencent-backed Food Delivery Giant

The People’s Bank of China is now planning to test its state-backed digital currency on the Tencent Holdings backed food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, just days after the reports came that DiDi Cuxing, the Chinese equivalent to Uber will be piloting the DC/EP.

Meituan has been in talks with the research department of China's central bank on the real-world uses for the virtual legal tender dubbed Digital Currency Electronic Payment. The research wing is also in discussion on trials with another of Tencent-backed company Bilibili that streams video, reported Bloomberg.

Just like Didi, Meituan processes billions of dollars in daily transactions, the perfect stage for government-backed digital currency’s mass adoption. This digital yuan would further offer the government greater control over its financial system. According to some, it could even push the US dollar from the center of the global currency system.

The reports also helped Meituan, whose shares spiked, pushing it out of the negative territory.

Meituan and Bilibili offer various online services ranging from food delivery to e-commerce and video games. Currently, they are using the payment systems of Tencent and Alibaba’s Ant Group.

There is no date on a national rollout, which could still be years away. DC/EP was the result of five years of research and began its pilot program for the digital currency only a few months ago.

Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the development of digital currency in 2020, which combined with China’s progress, has other countries rushing towards developing their own state-backed virtual currency as well.

The Bank of Sweden is actively exploring “e-krona” while the US Federal Reserve is studying digital currencies but says it has no plan to issue a digital dollar.

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