The leading social media messaging app in China has reportedly enabled digital Yuan (s-CNY) payments on its platform. The service will be available in all 23 regions including Shanghai and Beijing, where China’s digital Yuan is being tested.
This comes after the messenger indicated at the beginning of the year that it was planning to add digital Yuan payments.
The digital Yuan is China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and is currently in its testing phase and WeChat being the biggest massager application in China shall allow people in the regions where the digital currency is being tested to transact using the CBDC. Adding the support of the CBDC to such an app with over one billion users will certainly boost the distribution of the CBDC.
WeChat users will be required to apply for accounts with Tencent’s WeBank for them to be allowed to use the digital Yuan.
Digital Yuan adoption in China
Besides WeChat, Alipay, which is WeChat’s main competitor in China has also indicated that it is planning to add Digital Yuan Payments. Alipay started exploring possible e-CNY adoption in 2021.
An analyst at Consultancy Trivium China called Linghao Bao argued that WeChat and Alipay have a huge commitment from a majority of Chinese residents and as a result, the central bank would have to look for a way of collaborating with the two social media messaging giants in popularizing the digital Yuan.
China is currently far ahead of all the other countries that have announced intentions to explore CBDCs including the United Kingdom, Jamaica, Canada, Israel, Nigeria, Kenya, and the United States.
More than 140 million Chinese residents have already opened digital Yuan wallets with 10 million being corporate accounts.
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