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China to Test Digital Yuan on Tencent-Backed Food Delivery Platform

Now three Tencent-backed companies are setting themselves up to become early-stage testers for China’s digital yuan initiative.

Jul 15, 2020 at 9:15 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:31 a.m. UTC

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.

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