Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent has added support for the country’s digital yuan to its WeChat Pay wallet.
- WeChat users now have the option to pay using China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) via a new access point in the messaging app’s payment service, the state-run China Daily reported Thursday.
- They must, however, have already verified their identity using the digital yuan wallet app, or “e-CNY” app, developed by China’s central bank that was launched earlier this week.
- The Tencent-developed WeChat is the dominant instant-messaging app in mainland China with over a billion users.
- The e-CNY app is currently in its pilot phase as China continues the rollout of its CBDC. The digital yuan is set to see its biggest test to date at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which start on Feb. 4. This will be the first time international visitors will have access to it.
- Tencent has said it will explore digital yuan payment experiences in the Olympic Village when it opens Jan. 27, according to China Daily’s report.
- China is the most advanced among major economies with its CBDC development. The digital yuan has been undergoing trials around the country for well over a year now and had settled $9.7 billion worth of transactions as of the end of October 2021.
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