The Chinese digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), now features an interconnection with the Hong Kong payment system, allowing tourists coming to mainland China to purchase and top up a digital yuan wallet. The system, created by the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), was tested just recently during the 19th Asian Games.
Digital Yuan Features Interoperability With the Hong Kong Banking System
The digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency, is debuting a new interconnecting feature with the Hong Kong banking system that allows visitors and tourists to create and top up a digital yuan wallet using foreign accounts. The system, designed by the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), links digital yuan wallets with the Faster Payments System (FPS) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
The feature, announced in advance, presents several ostensible advantages for tourists who could use the digital yuan to make payments without resorting to alternative payment methods, topping it up in advance. The People’s Daily, a Chinese state outlet, remarked on the endeavor, stating that the digital yuan system was “more controllable,” with shorter transaction links and lower transaction costs.
Asian Games Pilot
The PBOC introduced this feature at the 19th Asian Games, held from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. According to local reports, different delegations of athletes used the system under the guidance of assistants at the Asian Games Village, where the athletes were hosted during the event.
During the trial, these athletes downloaded the digital yuan wallet, opened an account, and used the different payment and top-up methods involving the new feature. They also offered positive feedback on the new addition, stating that the wallet was “simple and convenient to use,” making their purchases in the Athletes Village “easy and convenient.”
The Chinese government and the PBOC have been pushing for adopting the digital yuan in several payment scenarios across China. In September, the PBOC implemented a QR-based interoperable standard compatible with multiple payment systems, including the digital yuan. Jinan implemented digital yuan payments for transportation fares after conducting a limited pilot in July.
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