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July 16, 2020

China to test digital currency on Meituan Dianping platforms

China is set to utilise the platforms operated by Meituan Dianping, a food delivery giant, to test its digital currency.

According to a Bloomberg report, People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s research wing is in talks with Meituan on the use of the virtual cash.

However, the terms of the partnership are yet to be finalised, the publication added citing sources familiar with the matter.

The move is aimed to support the plans to advance with the mass adoption of the digital tender called Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

Besides Meituan, local ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing is part of the initiative that explores the real-world use of digital Yuan.

Didi and Meituan host billions of dollars in daily transactions in several industry segments.

Currently, the central bank is also conducting talls with Bilibili, a Tencent-backed company, to further expand the initiative.

However, Meituan and PBOC did not confirm the development. Bilibili too did not respond to Bloomberg’s queries.

The introduction of digital currency is expected to provide the government with greater control over the financial system. It is also expected to facilitate transactions and will be easier to use compared to paper currency.

The PBOC started a virtual cash pilot programme a few months ago with testing restricted to four cities.

According to the publication, it would take years to carry out a general rollout of the system.

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