E-CNY app scores over 30 million downloads ahead of Winter Olympics

Residents who received “red packets” of digital yuan use the cash in shops in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Downloading the e-CNY app, which hit the mobile app markets for less than a month, saw a surge in download numbers ahead of the opening ceremony of the Games Beijing Winter Olympics.

Cumulative downloads via Huawei stood at 13.29 million as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday, 10.8 million via Vivo, 5.33 million via Xiaomi and 1.85 million via OPPO, according to calculations made by the Global Times.

The iPhone could also download the e-CNY app, but the exact number of downloads is not open to the public.

Total downloads of e-CNY, which was developed by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank for four phone brands, stood at more than 30 million on Friday, up from 23 million on Jan. 17.

The pilot version of the app was rolled out on January 4.

The data reflects the increased interest in digital currency or e-CNY across all consumption channels, and research reports even predict that the entire e-CNY transformation is expected to generate a total investment of 116.5 billion yuan ($18.31 billion).

Market watchers said the growing demand is due to the promotion campaign in different cities and different payment channels.

Low-cost carrier Spring Airlines told the Global Times on Saturday that the carrier is now allowing in-cabin payments via digital currency. The carrier said digital payment in yuan covers ticket purchase and on-site check-in services.

Chinese digital services platform Meituan said on Wednesday that the digital yuan payment channel will be open to all offline consumption scenarios on the platform, and users can pay via digital yuan and receive subsidies. exclusive consumption when buying fresh food, taking a taxi or watching movies.

Since January this year, nearly 90% of digital yuan payment in Meituan has gone to everyday consumption settings such as takeout, groceries and dining. Among them, small transaction orders below 30 yuan accounted for the highest proportion, Meituan told the Global Times on Saturday.

Similarly, WeChat, owned by Tencent, a leading payment service provider, also started supporting the digital yuan on Jan. 6 through its WeChat Pay mobile wallet.

Data from Beijing’s local financial supervision and administration showed on Friday that by the end of 2021, Beijing had opened more than 12 million yuan digital wallets for individuals, covering more than 400,000 Olympic scenarios. winter such as food, housing, transportation, travel, shopping, entertainment and medical care, and the transaction amount reached 9.6 billion yuan.

Market insiders claimed that the Winter Olympics would be an opportunity to fully promote the digital yuan. A research report released by Guotai Juan Securities said that the pilot of various digital yuan settings will focus on areas within the Winter Olympics safety red line, with the main purpose of ensuring and facilitating payment choices for domestic and foreign consumers.

Essence Securities predicted that, calculated from the transformation of commercial banking infrastructure and system, the entire digital transformation of the yuan is expected to lead to a total investment scale of 116.5 billion yuan.

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