Digital yuan usage has grown x18 over the past 12 months in China – as central bank-issued tokens continue to find new users.
According to the People’s Bank of China, trading volume hit the $13 billion mark at the end of last year, with a total of 261 million individual wallets currently being opened in pilot regions.
Media outlet JRJ reported that JD.com, China’s answer to Amazon, also reported that customers used digital CNY wallets to pay for goods and services worth about $60 million on the platform during the recent “618” festival.
In China, 618 (June 18) closely resembles US Black Friday or Cyber Monday – a two- or three-week period, whereby e-commerce platforms offer products at a discounted price, resulting in purchases that are often feverish.
Reuters reported that total sales on JD.com grew only 10.3% in the lead-up to 618 of this year, a number that represents a “strong” decline compared to 27.7% growth of “events in 2021“.
The 10.3% figure is JD’s lowest growth rate ever, and, according to Reuters, shows “consumer appetite in the world’s second-largest economy has been hit as due to lockdowns to contain the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and slowing economic conditions.”
Regardless, the spending figures in digital yuan represent a layer of silver for JD, the company has become one of the most active and well-known private sector advocates for this token.
JD began allowing customers in test regions to use their tokens on its platform in December 2019. Since then, the company has given away millions of USD worth of e-CNY to customers. Stores in 23 cities are currently in the pilot area.
Prior to this year’s 618 event, the platform and its partner banks gave away some $1.5 million worth of CNY digital tokens to citizens in the pilot area.
Meanwhile, the token is making a new breakthrough in the financial sector. Sina reports that the token has been successfully used to pay a down payment on a house in Guangdong.
And, Huangzhou.com reported that a state-run “four-adult” lender, China Construction Bank, has added pilot functions to its mobile app that allow customers to use digital yuan to pay for wealth management products.
The same media also noted that a Chinese man made history by using digital currency yuan to pay for car insurance.
It added that a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China this month also issued a loan of $224,000 – paid in digital yuan – to a local concrete manufacturing company that was affected. severely affected by the pandemic.