Starbucks, McDonald’s Among 19 Firms to Test China’s Digital Yuan: Report

The food and beverage giants are among the restaurants and retail shops reportedly on a local government list for testing of China's central bank digital currency.

Apr 23, 2020 at 7:31 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:32 a.m. UTC

Starbucks and McDonald's are reportedly among 19 restaurants and retail shops that will be involved in testing China's central bank digital currency in the country's Xiong'An new district.

The Reformation and Development Commission of the Xiong'An district in Hebei province reportedly convened a meeting on Wednesday regarding the rollout of a pilot for China's digital yuan initiative, a local news outlet reported on Thursday, citing a government document.

The move signals China's wider efforts to test the digital currency project, with state-owned commercial banks already developing wallet applications for the digital yuan, also known as DC/EP.

The news outlet said the meeting involved representatives from government agencies, China's four state-owned commercial banks, Ant Financial, Tencent as well as 19 restaurants, entertainment and retail shops that will participate in the test.

Notable names include McDonald's, Starbucks, Subway, JD Supermarkets in the area, among others. The report does not specify when the test would likely start or how long it will last.

CoinDesk has reached out to the government agency, but had not heard back at press time.

It was reported last week the Agricultural Bank of China has already developed a test user interface for a DC/EP wallet that features how the digital yuan would be transacted.

The test application, initially available for download, also showed the test was being rolled out in the cities of Chengdu, Suzhou, Shenzhen and the Xiong'An new district.

Another local news outlet reported last Thursday that the testing being rolled out in Suzhou involves issuing transportation allowances for local government officials in the form of digital yuan.

The People's Bank of China confirmed last Friday the ongoing testing efforts and emphasized "it does not mean the digital yuan has been launched officially."

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