Private banks MYbank and WeBank, which are backed by Ant Group and Tencent, have announced plans to join the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) CBDC project.
The PBOC intends to use the two banks’ reach to further expose Chinese citizens to its ongoing CBDC pilots, Chain Bulletin cited people familiar with the matter. The e-wallets of MYbank and WeBank will soon be added to the PBOC’s digital yuan app, with the same functionality as those from the six state-owned banks already participating in the DC/EP trials.
MYbank has already started helping China’s central bank in doing research and development on the digital yuan. There has been an increase in news surrounding China’s upcoming CBDC. PBOC has already held four CBDC lotteries which randomly awarded ‘red envelopes’ containing 200 digital yuan to its citizens. The number of vendors that accept the digital yuan in Shenzhen has also been increasing, from 10,000 in early January 2021 to around 35,000 in the end of the month.
In addition to the continuous lotteries, the country has also expanded its digital yuan trial with the addition of ATMs around the city of Shenzhen. The Agriculture Bank of China has also completed its research and produced the first digital yuan hardware wallet.