China’s Wechat Adds Support for Digital Yuan Payments – According to a report by local news outlet The Paper, Wechat, the leading social network and messaging platform in China, has incorporated China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) into its payment application, Wechat Pay, in its most recent update.
The new feature will be accessible to over 1.2 billion users, who can utilize digital yuan (e-CNY) to pay for various goods, services, and utility bills through certain widgets, with plans to expand its usage in the future, including the introduction of direct transactions between WeChat users.
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WeChat Pay is utilized daily by approximately 750 million individuals. As per a report by Global Times, e-CNY payments are currently constrained to 2,000 yuan per transaction (equivalent to around $290) with a daily limit of 5,000 yuan (a bit over $700).
Owned by the Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings, Wechat Pay has become the second major payment system in China to incorporate support for the digital yuan, following the integration of the e-CNY wallet by Alibaba Group’s Alipay platform in December 2022.
With over 5.5 million participating merchants and businesses, the Chinese government has been vigorously promoting its digital currency through trials conducted in more than two dozen cities and provinces. Data from the end of last year revealed that the volume of e-CNY payments had surpassed 13.5 billion yuan.
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The number of use cases has been expanding, but in September, the People’s Bank of China urged for more extensive integration of its new currency with e-payment providers. Additionally, in December, a former head of research at the central bank stated that the digital yuan trials had generated underwhelming results in terms of usage and activity.