The mobile payment platform owned and operated by Ant Group, Alipay, is expected to let some of its users participate in the emerging digital yuan commerce ecosystem. Based on a May 10, 2021, report by China Securities Journal, the new feature is a result of Mybank’s participation in the nation’s expanded digital currency electronic payment testing protocols.
China’s e-payment behemoth will let users link their accounts to the country’s digital yuan app. The news also cements Ant Group’s participation in China’s central bank digital currency project, the digital Yuan. The conglomerate owns a majority stake in Mybank, which is one of the biggest internet-only banks in the country.
In an official statement quoted by CNBC, Ant Group confirmed its involvement in the CBDC trials, adding:
“As one of the participants in the trial of the e-CNY, Ant Group’s associate MYbank will steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People’s Bank of China. Ant Group, together with MYbank, will also continue to support the research, development, and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY.”
Based on previous reports, Ant Group has been working with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on digital currencies since 2017. China’s central bank is allegedly using the company’s mobile app development environment to develop digital yuan-linked apps.
While MYbank is going towards enabling users to interact with the digital currency, Tencent-backed digital bank WeBank is allegedly yet to activate any bridge for users to the CBDC (digital yuan). Both of the online banks were announced as the first private financial institutions to join the CBDC testing ecosystem back in February 2021.
Nonetheless, the testing arena is dominated by up to six state banks, some of whom have created user wallets for the digital yuan. The People’s Bank of China continues to promote the digital yuan’s utilization through a litany of airdrops and lotteries in various cities.
The adoption events normally target shopping festivals with the merchants encouraged to accept the digital currency as a payment means. Last month, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com said that it was already using the digital yuan to pay its staff’s salaries.
This online retail firm was the first to start accepting the digital currency as a payment method back, and it allegedly received nearly 20,000 DCEP-funded orders in the first week.