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China’s CBDC Development is “Already On Track” and Nearing Completion: Ex-PBOC Governor

Zhou Xiaochuan, the former Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), expressed optimism about China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), commonly known as the ‘digital yuan,’ nearing completion. Speaking at a conference in Hong Kong, Zhou stated that the digital yuan is “already on track,” and the “final stage is not very far away.” He highlighted that 90% of retail payments in China are already digitalized, with only 10% remaining to be addressed. This positive assessment follows the recent release of a white paper by the central bank on cross-border e-CNY solutions.

Zhou Xiaochuan delivered the keynote address at the HKMA-BIS High-Level Conference, emphasizing the significance of digital currencies. He noted that since the debut of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2019, the project has experienced high transaction volumes and total value. Zhou highlighted challenges related to the mobility and convertibility of digital currencies, as well as concerns about data protection and privacy, which the bank plans to address in-depth.

As the longest-serving Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) with 16 years of tenure, Zhou’s remarks underscore China’s commitment to digital payment innovation, particularly amid increasing interest rates and rising inflation in other jurisdictions.

The conference was organized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), attracting over 20 incumbent central bank governors, deputy governors, and former governors. Pan Gongsheng, the current Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), also delivered a keynote speech during the event. Governors from financial institutions globally, including Australia, Spain, England, and Thailand, were in attendance, discussing topics such as financial stability, inflation, and labor markets.

In another development, the Chinese arm of Standard Chartered Bank joined China’s digital yuan trials on Monday. The bank announced collaboration with City Bank Clearing Services to offer access to the CBDC’s interconnection platform.

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