China has teamed up with the ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing to tests its national digital currency. The ride-hailing firm published the announcement on its Chinese-language website and explained that the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China and Didi came to an agreement to test the currency in the last few days.
Under the agreement, the two parties will study and explore the innovation and application of the digital RMB in the field of smart travel. The ride-hailing firm also said that it will implement guidelines set out by the Party Central Committee and State Council to improve financial services in the real economy and promote the integrated development of the digital and real economies.
In its statement, Didi said:
“The digital economy has become an important engine driving the high-quality development of the country's economy, and the legal digital currency system will become an important infrastructure in the development of the digital economy.”
Last year, we reported that China’s digital currency was almost ready for prime time, now it appears to be filtering its way into society. One of the interesting aspects of the digital currency is that it will be able to better connect those in rural areas that still don’t have access to a bank account, all that will be required is a mobile wallet.
According to the latest information from the Sustainable Development Report, which tracks countries progress in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, around 80% of people China have a bank account or a mobile money service provider. With its digital yuan, Beijing will no doubt be looking to push this figure to 100%.