Beijing, Suzhou enable China’s digital yuan payments for subways


The Chinese capital city of Beijing has extended the testing of China’s central bank digital currency, dubbed the e-CNY, to its railway system.

The municipal government of Beijing said in an announcement Wednesday that users who have activated the standalone digital yuan mobile app via the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) are now able to pay with the e-CNY across all subways lines in the city.

The Beijing subway system consists of 24 lines and 428 stations and provides travel for over 10 million people per day on average.

Beijing has so far conducted two e-CNY lottery campaigns by giving away 50 million digital yuan to 250,000 lottery winners, who were able to download and activate the standalone e-CNY mobile app.

Even though the test periods for the lottery campaigns have concluded, users can still top up their e-CNY mobile wallets to pay wherever the e-CNY is supported.

Yitongxing is another mobile app dedicated to paying for subway tickets in Beijing but it can also be used for e-CNY payments. To do this, the user has to activate the sub-wallet feature inside the e-CNY app, and then they will find the e-CNY payment option inside their Yitongxing app.

The test roll-out in Beijing comes just a day after the Suzhou government announced that the e-CNY can also be used in the latest line in the Suzhou subway system.

It’s Beijing’s latest effort in widening the usage of the country’s central bank digital currency. Earlier this month, the ICBC enabled its 3,000 automated telling machines in Beijing with a feature that can convert the e-CNY to cash, and vice versa. 

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