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China set to widen pilot trials of central bank digital currency 中国将更广泛地开展央行数字货币试点测试

  • China
  • Technology, Media and Telecoms

03-09-2020

On 14 August 2020, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) issued the “Notice on Comprehensive Deepening of the Pilot Program of Innovative Development of Trade in Services” (“Notice”). The Notice provides that the People’s Bank of China (“PBOC”) will be responsible for forming policies for conducting pilot trials of DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments) in suitable areas in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Midwest region.

Since our last article, the PRC has expanded its pilot trials of DC/EP. According to media reports, the PBOC has expanded such pilot trials in four cities, namely Suzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Xiong’an, from a limited number of selected physical shops to online platforms such as Didi and Meituan.

Meanwhile, the Supreme People’s Court and the National Development and Reform Commission of the PRC jointly issued the “Opinion on Providing Legal Services and Protection for the Comprehensive Development of Socialist Market Economy System in the New Era” (“Opinion”) on 22 July 2020. The Opinion further details the PRC’s judicial and executive arms’ positive outlook on strengthening property rights protection in relation to DC/EP and other virtual assets.

Such development is in line with the policy directions highlighted in the Notice, including (among other things):

  • promoting cross-border use of Chinese RMB in trade, and developing relevant foreign exchange management policies;
  • promoting digital economy and facilitating digital businesses; and
  • greatly enhancing digital trade and relevant policies by establishing expert working groups to provide guidance on digital trade innovation.

What this means to you?

Not only is DC/EP a technological breakthrough with its innovative double-offline digital wallet, it represents the PRC’s initiative to facilitate digitisation of the economy and establish a digital business environment that meets high international standards.

Cross-border payments have long been industry-led by leading Fintech companies providing international settlement and clearance services. The DC/EP is a government-led effort which may provide an alternative to traditional cross-border payments channels. Once implemented, the DC/EP will potentially become the largest government-led digital payments system in terms of total number of users.

While pilot trials of DC/EP will continue to be in the initial four cities and expected to be conducted at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the Notice has confirmed the PRC government’s intent to launch DC/EP on a broader basis. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep you informed of any developments.

The Notice can be found here (in Chinese), and the Opinion can be found here (in Chinese).

Please contact us if you have any questions on this subject matter.


中华人民共和国(“中国”)商务部于2020年8月14日印发了《全面深化服务贸易创新发展试点总体方案》的通知(“该通知”)。该通知指中国人民银行(“人民银行”)将会负责制定有关在京津冀、长三角、粤港澳大湾区及中西部具备条件的试点地区开展DC/EP(数字货币/电子支付)试点测试的政策。

自我们上一期有关于DC/EP的通讯,中国已更广泛地开展DC/EP试点测试。根据媒体报道,人民银行已将在苏州、深圳、成都及雄安四个城市的试点测试范围扩大,从有限数目的线下实体店扩展到滴滴、美团等网上平台。

与此同时,中国最高人民法院和国家发展和改革委员会于2020年7月22日联合发布了《关于为新时代加快完善社会主义市场经济体制提供司法服务和保障的意见》(“该意见”)。该意见进一步表明,中国司法和行政部门对加强DC/EP和其他虚拟资产的产权保护持积极态度。

以上发展符合该通知所强调的政策方向,其中包括:

  • 推进中国人民币在贸易中的跨境使用,完善相关外汇管理措施;
  • 推进数字经济及数字营商环境便利化;及
  • 透过组建专家工作组为数字贸易创新提供指导,积极发展数字贸易及相关政策。

为您带来的影响

DC/EP不仅透过创新的双离线数字钱包实现了技术上的突破,还代表着中国的发展方向,即推动数字化经济和建立符合国际标准的数字商业环境。

跨境支付一直以来都是由业界内提供国际结算和清算服务的金融科技巨头公司主导。DC/EP是由中国官方主导,并且可能为传统跨境支付渠道提供另类方案。一旦实施,DC/EP将有可能成为总用户数量最多的由官方主导的数字支付系统。

尽管DC/EP将继续在四个先行试点城市和预计于2022年北京冬季奥运会推行,该通知已确认了中国有意更广泛地落实DC/EP。我们将继续密切关注事态发展并刊载有关发展情况。

请分別按阅览该通知及该意见全文(仅有中文版本)。

如对本通讯有任何疑问,请与我们联络。