A man pays at a vegetable stall in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in east China, September 5, 2019(XINHUA)
In October, Shenzhen in south China, in partnership with the People's Bank of China, the central bank, launched a pilot program to promote the digital renminbi by distributing 50,000 "red packets" worth 200 yuan ($30) each via a random draw.
Two months later, Suzhou in east China rolled out a similar measure on the eve of the online shopping festival Double 12 to bolster consumption.
The next step is to build on the momentum by introducing online payment and offline wallet functions, which allow users to make a direct payment without having to go through the Internet.
The successful adoption of the digital currency in the Guangdong-Hong Kong- Macao Greater Bay Area followed by a favorable outcome in the Yangtze River Delta makes it predictable that the next targeted area will be Xiongan, the third major urban cluster identified in 2010 by the State Council.
While payments today hinge on the mobile network, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) can be used by downloading an app which does not require network signals.
Besides, the CBDC can help merchants reduce business transaction costs. Today, they need to pay a percentage of their income to use payment platforms, but the CBDC is different. This can attract more people to participate, laying a good foundation for future promotion.
This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Beijing Youth Daily on December 14
(Print Edition Title: Digital Currency)