Alibaba founder Jack Ma (third from right) attends the MYbank opening ceremony in Hangzhou, capital of China’s Zhejiang Province.
Ju Huanzong | Xinhua News Agency | fake images
The online bank backed by Alibaba’s fintech giant Ant Group has joined China’s digital yuan pilot program, it said on Monday, as Beijing expands tests aimed at eventually rolling out the electronic currency for mass use.
MYBank, backed by Ant, said it was one of the parties involved in the research and development of China’s electronic currency. It plans to “advance the trial in accordance with the general agreement of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC),” a bank spokesman said.
To date, China’s central bank digital currency pilot has been primarily state-owned banks, rather than private banks.
WeBank, backed by Tencent Holdings, is also participating in the digital yuan pilot program, the state-backed China Securities News said in a Feb.20 report, also mentioning MYBank’s involvement. WeBank declined to comment.
MYbank and WeBank services will soon be introduced to PBOC’s yuan digital app, according to China Securities News and a screenshot of the app seen by Reuters. The e-wallets of the two private lenders will be similar to the features offered by the six state lenders in the trial, the newspaper added.
China is a pioneer in the global race to launch central bank digital currencies and has so far conducted national trials in several major cities, including Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Hangzhou.
So far, more than 2 billion yuan ($ 309.30 million) has been spent using China’s new digital currency in 4 million separate transactions, People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang told reporters in November. .