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Tencent-Owned WeChat Adds In-App Support for China’s CBDC, Here’s Why

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WeChat has added in-app support for China’s e-CNY CBDC in order to get more nationals to use the digital currency. Owned by tech giant Tencent, WeChat is China’s equivalent to WhatsApp, offering an array of social networking mediums as well as a bank-to-bank payment option. As per statistics tracker Oberio, WeChat is estimated to have had over 827 million users in China, all of whom will now have the choice to give the Chinese CBDC a try for facilitating day-to-day payments.

China is accelerating its efforts to drive the adoption of its CBDC in various ways, aiming to onboard currently unbanked nationals onto its financial systems.

WeChat users will now be able to use the digital yuan to pay for eatables and bills via the multi-purpose app.

Those interested to try this feature will have to authorise their WeChat phone numbers with the government-controlled digital yuan wallet operator to activate the service, Chinese media reported.

Built on blockchain networks, CBDCs like the digital yen register permanent and un-alterable transactional records that makes the financial system more transparent.

Other nations like India, Japan, and the US among others are also in advanced phases of their CBDC R&D, to diversify people’s choices in-terms of financial settlements.

China is among the first countries in the world alongside Nigeria and India to roll out its CBDC to the masses.

In September 2022, the country released its CBDCs for public testing in four of its most dense regions. In the present day, the e-CNY digital yuan is available for use with select merchants across 26 Chinese cities and provinces.

For now, China has limited the value of each CBDCs transaction to be as high as $290 (roughly Rs. 23,790). For the daily quota restriction, Chinese CBDC users cannot process CBDC payments exceeding $700 (roughly Rs. 57,430), Bitcoin.com reported citing China’s Global Times.

By August last year, CBDC transactions amounted to $13.9 billion (roughly Rs. 1,140 crore) in China.

The Chinese Municipal Bank also issued its first eCNY loan to a manufacturing plant last year.

In fact, WeChat is not the only popular app that has integrated the e-CNY as part of its services. Recently, Alibaba-owned Ali Pay also added support for CBDC payments in the Asian nation.

From smartphones with rollable displays or liquid cooling, to compact AR glasses and handsets that can be repaired easily by their owners, we discuss the best devices we’ve seen at MWC 2023 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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