The digital yuan, China’s CBDC, has expanded to include 13 additional banks as part of its ongoing pilot program, signaling headway as China targets launching nationwide by 2024.
- Nine additional Chinese banks— including city-based and rural commercial banks—have joined the initial four state-owned megabanks to become digital yuan operators for the PBoC.
- A total of 57 Chinese financial institutions are now involved in the pilot, including foreign banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered.
- The pilot has so far focused on major Chinese cities but has not been rolled out nationwide.
- The digital yuan is available through bank wallets and e-payment platforms like Alipay and Wechat Pay.
- China plans to expand digital yuan use in government services and cross-border payments by 2024.
- Russia and China may begin using their CBDCs for bilateral payments as early as 2024.
The expansion of Chinese banks participating in the digital yuan pilot suggests progress toward China’s plans to launch its CBDC nationwide by 2024. With cross-border CBDC experiments also underway, the digital yuan could play a larger role in China’s economy and trade in the coming years.
Still, many details regarding a full-scale digital yuan rollout remain unclear. The PBoC has not committed to a firm timeline beyond 2024, and it remains to be seen how widely acceptable and useful the digital yuan will be for Chinese citizens.