Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, has launched its partnership with PBoC to develop the digital yuan. The firm has been involved in the development of China’s CBDC since 2017.
Ant Group and Tencent are some of the largest fintech and digital payment service providers in China. The two firms have announced their partnership with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to develop the digital yuan. The two firms provided details of their involvement during the Digital China Summit.
The partnership of Ant Group with the PBoC was unexpected given that the firm has been facing a lot of harsh fines and scrutiny from Chinese authorities. Chinese regulators had earlier on thwarted efforts and eventually stopped the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO), which called for the firm’s restructuring under the regulator’s watch.
Ant’s Group push for digital yuan
The publication from South China Morning Post also revealed that Ant Group had been involved in developing a digital yuan since 2017. During the same year, MYbank, a financial institution linked to Ant Group, was also tasked with distributing the digital yuan.
Ant Group had also earlier partnered with the Digital Currency Institute in the country. The institute was using Ant Group’s mobile app development platform named mPaaS. Ant Group was involved in the public rollout of the digital yuan that happened at the beginning of this year.
A representative of Ant Group spoke of the development, noting that the firm will continue its alliance with MYbank to offer support in the research and development of the e-CNY.
Tencent involvement in digital yuan project
Tencent, another leading fintech company in China, started its involvement with the development of digital yuan in February 2018. The fintech even created a team tasked with coming up with a development process for the digital currency.
A representative of the company stated that the firm was actively involved in developing the e-CNY project for the PBoC, and this partnership will progress into the future. The firm noted that it would continue with its pilot phase for the project according to the guidelines provided by the bank.
China has been making great efforts in launching the country’s CBDC. Its Central Bank has been looking into local technologies to help in public adoption and distribution of the digital currency. The biggest competitor of Alibaba, JD.com, recently stated that it had paid employee salaries using the digital yuan after a partnership with the PBoC.