Alibaba’s Ant Group, the official partner of China’s PBoc for its Digital Yuan has started working on digital currency trials involving other stakeholders within the country. China’s online-only bank MYbank, wherein Ant Group holds a 30% stake, is the latest to join the trials and will allow some of its users to link their bank accounts with China’s Digital Yuan app.
The official announcement came on Monday, May 10, from the state-sponsored China Securities Journal. The report also mentioned that the new feature shall be accessible to users using Ant Group’s native Alipay app. Alipay is one of the largest mobile payment applications used in China, for making on-the-go mobile payments and daily transactions.
Ant Group said that it will work along with MYbank on the Digital Yuan (eCNY) trials and research. The company noted:
“As one of the participants in the trial of the e-CNY, Ant Group’s associate MYbank will steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People’s Bank of China. Ant Group, together with MYbank, will also continue to support the research, development and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY.”
Last year in 2020, MYbank registered a record 68% growth with its client base jumping to 35 million including small businesses and individuals.
China’s PBoC Expanding the Use of Digital Yuan
Chinese central bank – The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) – has been aggressively pushing the use of Digital Yuan by testing it in multiple cities over the last few months. Now, the Chinese authorities want to encourage Digital Yuan to spend at shopping festivals in Shanghai and other cities. Some merchants are already preparing to embrace the change.
Along with MYbank, Tencent-backed WeBank has also started pilot testing Digital Yuan transactions. In March 2021, there was a report that China’s CBDC could eat into the market share of Alipay and WeChat. However, last month, PBoC joined hands with Ant Group to quickly expand testing.
PBoC has also joined hands with other big private players. Last month, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com started paying salaries to some of its employees in Digital Yuan. It is also taking its use overseas. A recent report shows that global payments processor MasterCard is working with PBoC to support global Digital Yuan transactions.