Two Beijing-area regional bodies – the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration and the Tongzhou District government – held a conference Monday that made note of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Digital Currency Research Institute’s plan to build a legal digital currency test zone and digital financial system in China’s capital as part of the “China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone Overall Plan.”
While plans to test the digital yuan in Beijing were discussed in August, the talk at this regional-level conference indicates the pilot is being included in state-level planning, as noted in the policy document about the “pilot free trade zone” in Beijing and other cities.
- Also discussed at the conference the two co-hosted, according to a report by Chinese news outlet Sina, was the implementation of China's “two districts” policy, which includes relaxing market access for foreign financial institutions, development of international wealth management and green finance, and the launch of digital currency experiments, among other things.
- The Chinese government's planned pilot for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Beijing follows a similar effort in the city of Shenzhen. There, the government gave away $1.5 million worth of the digital currency, although by some reports users haven’t been too impressed with the digital yuan so far.
- The People’s Bank of China’s Governor Yi Gang recently said digital yuan trials have successfully carried out over four million transactions worth about $299 million.
- The move to expand digital currency trials to Beijing also follows the rollout strategy outlined by the Commerce Ministry in China. According to an August report by Bloomberg, digital currency tests are also likely to be held such areas of northern China as the coastal city Tianjin and Hebei Province and the city cluster in the Yangtze River delta region including Shanghai.