One of the mainstream social media platforms in China is integrating e-CNY payments.
WeChat, the Chinese social media giant and payment app, has integrated the digital currency by the country’s central bank (CBDC) into its payment platform to enable faster payments and bolster the adoption of digital assets.
According to local media reports, the move will allow over 1 million monthly users of the payment platform to make payments in digital yuan on some applications. Highlighted use cases include paying for food at McDonald’s and paying bills. Direct CBDC transfer between the users is still unavailable but is expected to launch soon.
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The move is seen as a strategy to boost the adoption of the Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency, especially among Chinese consumers. Commenting on the matter, Linghao Bao, a professional market analyst, highlighted the necessity of the collaboration.
Chinese consumers are so locked in WeChat Pay and Alipay, it’s not realistic to convince them to switch to a new mobile payment app. So it makes sense for the central bank to team up with WeChat Pay and Alipay as opposed to doing it on its own.
WeChat Pay, operating under Tencent Holdings, has become the second major platform to incorporate Digital Yuan after Alipay, controlled by Alibaba Group. Alipay introduced yuan digital payments in December 2022.
More than 26 Chinese provinces and cities are experimenting with digital yuan payments. However, it still struggles to attract consumers.
The country’s CBDC is one of the issues addressed at the ongoing parliamentary sessions in China. According to a local source, some legislators have even suggested giving the digital yuan, also known as e-CNY, a legal status similar to that of the physical yuan.
At the end of 2022, China revealed plans to launch its first state-based and regulated non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, dubbed China Digital Asset Trading Platform.