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China begins next phase of CBDC test by making e-CNY payments for public transport

e-CNY scanning and payment are now available in many Chinese cities for citizens looking to board their local buses and subways.

According to multiple sources, on Tuesday China officially began rolling out the next round of the Central Bank’s (CBDC) digital currency pilot testing program.

In the city of Guanzhou, it is now possible to pay for public bus trips using digital yuan (e-CNY) CBDC on 10 transit routes, the country’s first. To do this, passengers simply need to download the e-CNY app, deposit funds and scan the QR code found in the bus payment section to pay for their trip. Similarly, the previous day, Ningbo City said passengers could now pay for subway trips at 125 stations using e-CNY.

Ningbo is the ninth city in China to roll out the e-CNY experimental test in subway lines, where passengers can simply scan and push the trip.

The Chinese government quickly expanded the benefit of e-CNY this year. Just last week, it became possible to pay contributions to the Employees Housing Fund in Guangzhou with CBDC.

To stimulate consumer spending in the face of strict coronavirus lockdowns, the government has partnered with food delivery giant Meituan and the JD.com e-commerce platform to create e-CNY aerial drops that can be spent in listed places. In the last data update on June 20, more than 6 million unique users requested services with e-CNY funds on Meituan.

Meanwhile, as of July, JD.com said it had processed more than 4 million e-business transactions valued at RMB900 million ($131.6 million) since it began accepting e-CNY as a tender. Approximately 830 billion ($121.4 billion) e-CNY transactions were recorded in the first five months of 2022.

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