China makes major push in its ambitious digital yuan project

Public sector workers in an eastern Chinese city are set to be paid fully in digital yuan, as the country makes a significant push to popularize the currency.

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  • Changshu, a city of 1.7 million residents, was already experimenting with the digital yuan, a form of money that exists only online and is managed and backed by China’s central bank.
  • Since last October, Changshu has been paying the transit subsidies for some government employees in digital yuan.
  • China is already on the verge of becoming a cashless society, but the vast majority of electronic transactions happen on privately owned apps (Alipay and WeChat Pay), outside of the immediate purview of the state.
  • But the currency has struggled to gain traction.
  • Analysts have previously cited concerns about the reach of the government’s power and a lack of incentives as reasons for the lack of enthusiasm.

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