China’s digital yuan testing has extended to the capital, Beijing, after months of testing in other major cities. According to local news outlets, the pilot test of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) will focus on small local enterprises initially.
The CBDC, alternatively known as the digital currency electronic payment (DC/EP), has been in testing phase in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an New Area and Chengdu. As CoinGeek reported in November, the People’s Bank of China was targeting Beijing for its next pilot test—set to be the biggest one yet.
The trial started on December 29, with the focus initially being on small retail payments, according to local news outlet PanDaily. Unlike in the other cities where the PBoC has sought to partner with large companies, the Beijing trial started off with small local companies.
One of the first to partner with the PBoC was Mancat Coffee, a small local coffee shop in Lize Financial Business District. The shop’s customers can scan a payment QR code to pay for their coffee in digital yuan.
As one Chinese journalist pointed out on Twitter, Beijing has some global coffee chains including Starbucks, Costa and Luckin. However, the PBoC chose to partner with a “small, low-end, low-grade local coffee shop,” showing the bank’s focus on inclusion and growing the local economy.