WeChat, WhatsApp from China, adds support for Chinese CBDC payments2 min read
China’s WhatsApp app, WeChat, has officially announced support for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the company, the so-called digital renminbi is available for payments in all pilot regions.
WeChat has over 1 billion customers and is one of the most used Apps in China. The app – operated by tech giant Tencent – is one of China’s biggest digital payment platforms. Together with Ant Group’s Alipay (part of Alibaba), it represents 15% of the entire Chinese payments market.
Chinese CBDC Integration
Recently, Beijing and Zhangjiakou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Jinhua, Shaoxing, Huzhou and other places where the 19th Asian Games are located were listed as new pilot areas for testing digital renminbi.
Now, WeChat support is expected to drive CBDC adoption, which is on the way to becoming a usage phenomenon.
WeChat Pay users can access digital yuan functionality through the WeBank service, completing a quick verification process.
In addition, they can also pay by “scanning a digital yuan payment code on WeChat” or allowing merchants to scan a code using their own devices.
Meanwhile, China cracks down on cryptocurrencies
While the digital yuan program has been booming, the cryptocurrency market itself has been shrinking in China.
Chinese authorities are strict in their use of cryptocurrencies and established legal guidelines last year to crack down on the entire cryptocurrency industry.
Authorities have banned the possession, purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies, in addition to mining.
Also, WeChat recently suspended accounts linked to NFTs, which is in line with the federal government’s position on cryptocurrencies.
The Supreme Court ruled that cryptocurrency transactions are like buying illegal funds. Therefore, they are banned in the country.
Lastly, the government has provided cash prizes in an effort to clamp down on the mining market and will pay anyone who reports illegal BTC miners in the country.