- Previously, this was done by the Alipay service.
- e-CNY pays for orders at McDonald’s and utility bills
Leading Chinese social network and payment system WeChat added e-CNY to their services. The move should help boost the popularity of the digital yuan, which hasn’t been well-received by users so far.
The WeChat app is run by giant Tencent Holdings. It has over 1 billion monthly active users. This is second only to their main competitor Alipay from Alibaba Group. By the way, Alibaba Group also recently added support for the digital yuan.
WeChat Pay currently only allows e-CNY payments in certain apps. For example, ordering food at McDonald’s or paying bills. But the company promises to introduce direct transactions in CBDC between WeChat users in the future.
The digital yuan is now being tested in at least 26 Chinese provinces and cities. This is a token that is controlled by the Central Bank of China. At one time, e-CNY saw a surge in transaction volumes on Chinese e-commerce platforms. It happened during the 2023 Lunar New Year shopping season because the government offered discounts and bonuses in digital yuan.
However, the Chinese CBDC still has little appeal to consumers. Analysts have said that the increased adoption rate is necessary for e-CNY to be adopted by Chinese payment platform giants WeChat and Alipay. Now it has happened. So let’s see what effect it will give.