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Ant Group, Bank of China and JD.com reveal scope of DCEP adoption

2021.04.29 Matthew Lam

OKEx Insights reviews how Ant Group, the Bank of China and JD.com adopted China's digital currency, DCEP.

This week, top Chinese banks and tech giants showcased their contributions toward the adoption of digital currencies during the Digital China Summit in Fuzhou. 

Jack Ma's Ant Group revealed its long-standing partnership with the People's Bank of China in developing China's own digital currency, DCEP, and the Bank of China promoted DCEP to foreign nationals following a prototype release of a hardware wallet. Meanwhile, e-commerce giant JD.com announced that it paid some of its employees January salaries in DCEP.

Here's everything you may have missed regarding these stories, and more, in this week's edition of China Market Watch from OKEx Insights. 

Ant Group joined DCEP development in 2017

During the Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, Ant Group revealed that it has participated in DCEP research since 2017.

Late 2017Ant Group-backed MYBank participated in the distribution of DCEP.
June 2019PBoC's Digital Currency Research Institute developed its mobile app using Ant Group's mobile app development platform.
July 2020Ant Group officially participated in DCEP testing.
Nov. 2020Ant Group partnered with PBoC's Digital Currency Research Institute in the OceanBase database project.
Dec. 2020Ant Group launched a DCEP trial in Shanghai.
Feb. 2021PBoC's digital yuan app onboarded MYBank as a service partner.
A detailed timeline of Ant Group's participation in DCEP's development. Source: SCMP, OKEx Insights

Key takeaways

  • This is the first time that Ant Group disclosed a detailed timeline of its involvement in the development of DCEP.
  • Ant Group is still required to form a financial holding company under the oversight of the Chinese central bank, despite its long-standing relationship with DCEP development.

Bank of China introduces DCEP wallet to foreigners

The Bank of China released a prototype DCEP hardware wallet that is specifically geared toward foreigners. The wallet allows for the conversion between DCEP and sixteen foreign currencies. Users may view the available balance of the wallet and spend DCEP in shops that provide DCEP terminals.

Key takeaways

  • The Bank of China also introduced a prototype vending machine that issues DCEP hardware wallets. Foreigners with valid passports may deposit their banknotes into the machine and receive the wallet. 
  • The wallet is expected to be available for overseas nationals during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

JD.com paid salaries in DCEP

JD.com revealed that its partnership with PBoC's Digital Currency Research Institute started in July of last year. The e-commerce giant used DCEP to pay salaries for some of its employees in January.

Key takeaways 

  • JD.com aims to play a part in boosting DCEP adoption by helping banks connect with merchants in the real economy.
  • Apart from salary payments, JD.com explored new DCEP use cases in business-to-business payments and cross-bank settlements.

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Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.