Chinese e-commerce giant Jingdong has announced plans to integrate a digital wallet into its massive JD.com e-commerce ecosystem.
The project is the latest example of major Chinese consumer retail conglomerates backing China’s digital yuan project—formally known as Digital Currency/Electronic Payment, or DCEP.
A Sept. 21 report by local news outlet Yicai reveals that the partnership with the local Central Bank Digital Currency Research Institute will create a mobile wallet for both online and offline usage.
An integration with JD.com follows the digital yuan’s embrace by retail behemoths like Tencent-owned food delivery giant Meituan Dianping and ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing. Nasdaq-traded JD.com’s rakes in nearly $90 billion in yearly profits according to company data website Owler.
In mid-August reports said that the digital currency is already being tested in Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an. As Modern Consensus reported yesterday, the People’s Bank of China declared China’s CBDC ready for rollout.
A new battlefield
The PBoC recently called the issuance and control of a digital currency a “new battlefield” of competition between sovereign nations.
China’s Central Bank views DCEP as a way to decrease its reliance on the dollar-centric traditional international financial system and expand the influence of its fiat currency well outside its national borders. The PBoC explicitly stated that “China has many advantages and opportunities in issuing fiat digital currencies, so it should accelerate the pace to seize the first track.”
PBoC deputy governor Fan Yifei explained that DCEP acceptance will be mandatory for all Chinese citizens because it falls in the same category as the banknotes emitted by the central bank. In other words, the digital currency in question will be legal tender in China.
German think tank dGen editor Maggie Clarendon seemingly understands DCEP’s weaponized nature. In a recent report, the non-profit warned that the euro will be overtaken by the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) unless the EU launches its own by 2025.