Changshu is a satellite city in the southeastern Jiangsu province of China, near Suzhou.Changshu is a big economic hub with a population of 1.5 million people and a thriving manufacturing industry, especially in textiles and machinery.
The city launched a major initiative to promote China’s digital currency, known as the e-CNY, which includes public institutions such as schools, hospitals, libraries, research institutes, and media organizations in the area.
WeChat, China’s leading social networking and payment app with over one billion monthly active users, has recently integrated China’s sovereign digital currency into its platform to attract new users. WeChat Pay now supports the “express payments” feature of the digital yuan wallet, allowing users to pay for orders on WeChat’s mini-programs and platforms using the e-CNY.
After enabling the feature via the official e-CNY app, Alipay, the popular digital wallet operated by Ant Group, was the first to introduce the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) to its payment services.
WeChat Pay’s adoption of the e-CNY as an express payment option follows the addition of an e-CNY channel on the app. Previously, users had to activate the channel each time they wished to pay with digital yuan since it was not connected with merchant sites.
Currently, the e-CNY is being tested in 23 cities and regions across 15 provinces and provincial-level cities. The officials say that the pilot program’s primary purpose is to build confidence in the digital yuan’s reliability and ease of use.
According to the statement People’s Bank of China (PBoC) about WeChat account, there were over 360 million e-CNY transactions, with a total volume exceeding 100 billion yuan ($14 billion).
At present, 5.6 million commercial outlets across the country accept digital yuan as a payment option. However, the growth rate is relatively modest compared to the virtual currency’s transaction volume for the entirety of 2021, which reached 87.6 billion yuan ($13 billion).