China wants to trial its digital yuan using online food seller Meituan-Dianping, as well as another two Tencent-backed companies.
- The Beijing-based company has held talks with the research wing at the People's Bank of China (PBoC) over trialing the digital yuan on their platform, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg.
- The exact details of the collaboration are not yet known; the digital yuan is formally known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).
- Listed in Hong Kong, Meituan-Dianping's 400 million active users make it one of the largest food delivery platforms in the world; revenues in 2019 increased nearly 50% to RMB97.5 billion (~$14 billion).
- It is backed by internet giant Tencent, which had a 20% equity stake just before the 2018 initial public offering and remains a major investor.
- Tencent, which also owns popular messaging and payments app WeChat, is set to be one of the primary commercial issuers for the digital yuan when it goes live.
- It has also set aside billions of dollars to invest in new technologies, including blockchain.
- Two other Tencent-backed companies are also said to be in advanced talks with PBoC.
- This includes video-streaming platform Bilibili, according to Bloomberg sources, which received a $300 million commit from Tencent in late 2018.
- Last week, ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing said it would trial the digital yuan as a new payment option; Tencent invested $15 million in 2013.