As the Asian Games approach, China is witnessing a surge in the adoption of digital yuan payments, with host cities introducing various options for the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in transportation. As reported by Shanghai Securities News, Hangzhou, the host city in Zhejiang Province, is making significant progress in its preparations. Originally scheduled for September of the previous year, the games had to be postponed by a year due to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
To facilitate seamless transactions, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has recently enhanced its official digital yuan application with an innovative feature known as “ride code.” This feature lets smartphone users conveniently scan their devices when using the Hangzhou Metro. By doing so, the metro system automatically deducts the transportation fees from users’ e-CNY wallets, eliminating the need for physical payments. Additionally, the PBoC has announced that the Shaoxing Metro, where five Asian Games events, including baseball and volleyball, will take place, will also accept digital yuan ride code payments.
Furthermore, the Hangzhou-Hai Intercity Railway, connecting key cities in Zhejiang Province such as Haining and Hangzhou, will also introduce the ride code system. This digital innovation in transportation enhances convenience for commuters and showcases China’s determination to exhibit the capabilities of its digital yuan during the Asian Games.
China’s ambitions to showcase the CBDC were initially planned for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing last year. However, due to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the plans had to be scaled down, with only athletes and coaches permitted to attend the event. Nevertheless, participants were encouraged to utilize the digital yuan as a mode of payment. As a gesture to encourage adoption, they were provided with complimentary commemorative e-CNY hard wallets.
The upcoming Asian Games will mark China’s first major international sporting event since the pandemic outbreak and will coincide with the advanced stage of the CBDC pilot program. Last year, Ningbo, a city in Zhejiang Province, became the trailblazer by announcing that all 125 of its metro stations now accept digital yuan-powered payments at ticket barriers. Earlier this year, the PBoC enhanced its official digital yuan app, enabling citizens to make electricity-free payments using the digital currency. This update empowers individuals in the pilot zone to conveniently pay transportation fees and make micropayments even when their smartphones are powered off or without network coverage.
With the Asian Games serving as a prominent international platform, China is eager to dazzle the world with its digital yuan’s remarkable features and capabilities. As digital payment adoption continues to surge, the seamless integration of the CBDC into various aspects of daily life reflects China’s commitment to pioneering a cashless society driven by innovative technologies. The world will be watching closely as China unveils the potential of the digital yuan during this prestigious event.