China busy building e-yuan wallet ecology

Huang Yixuan
Red packets containing 55 yuan (US$8.6) are being distributed to Shanghai residents who won a lottery announced last weekend, People's Bank official tells Lujiazui Forum.
Huang Yixuan

China is working to achieve full implementation of digital yuan in all online and offline scenarios through the construction of an e-yuan wallet ecology.

Mu Changchun, director-general of the Digital Currency Institute of the People's Bank of China, spelt out the functions and use of e-yuan wallets at the 13th Lujiazui Forum.

Some 350,000 digital red packets, each containing 55 yuan (US$8.6), are being distributed to Shanghai residents after a lottery last weekend, Mu said.

The scheme was announced last Saturday with everyone in the city able to sign up for the lottery with a mainland phone number and resident's ID card.

Winners were informed via text message on Friday, and can receive their red packets, which are valid until June 20, via the official digital renminbi app. They can be used at all merchants and platforms supporting e-yuan payment.

With the construction of a digital yuan wallet ecology, online and offline use of the e-yuan will be realized to meet the diverse needs of users, Mu said.

"We will set the seal on the inclusive use of an e-yuan wallet, avoiding barriers such as technical literacy or reliance on communication networks."

There will be different types of e-yuan wallets.

For example, e-yuan wallets will be graded according to users' personal information, with daily transaction and balance limits based on individual circumstances. 

Wallets belonging to users who register with just a phone number will have a balance limit of 10,000 yuan, a single payment limit of 2,000 yuan and a daily payment limit of 5,000 yuan. 

If something costs more than 2,000 yuan, users can upgrade their wallets by uploading more information such as valid ID and bank account.

There will be different wallets for individuals and for businesses or institutions, Mu said.

E-yuan wallets will also be classified as "soft" or "hard." The former include mobile payment apps and software development kit services, while the latter cover IC cards, wearable devices and Internet of Things devices.

"For example, we have launched hard wallet products loaded with a health code for the elderly, which, aside from providing a safe and convenient payment function, can also facilitate their daily travel under pandemic prevention and control," Mu said.

E-yuan wallet users can also open several sub-wallets, with which individuals can set payment limits as well as achieve stronger personal privacy protection, while enterprises and institutions can realize functions such as collecting and distributing funds, accounting and financial management.

Special Reports