‘Hong Kong Introduces Digital Yuan Pilot Program, Bans Peer-to-Peer Transfers’

China’s central bank digital currency, known as digital yuan or e-CNY, has made its first pilot outside the mainland in Hong Kong as part of Beijing’s efforts to digitize its economy. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a press statement announcing the availability of e-CNY in local shops for cross-boundary payments.

Currently, only Hong Kong residents can use e-CNY to top up their digital wallets with up to 10,000 CNY (approximately ,385) through 17 retail banks in Hong Kong, including Standard Chartered Bank, ZA Bank, and DBS Bank. The e-CNY application can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store, with the wallets limited to cross-boundary payments during the pilot phase.

HKMA head Eddie Yue expressed that Hong Kong will collaborate with the People’s Bank of China to expand the applications of e-CNY, enhance its functionalities for Hong Kong residents, and promote its acceptance by more retail merchants in both regions.

In contrast, U.S. policymakers are taking measures to restrict U.S. financial service providers from engaging with China’s digital currency. Senator Rick Scott introduced the Chinese CBDC Prohibition Act to prohibit U.S. post offices, remittance firms, peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms, and money service businesses from facilitating transactions involving China’s digital yuan.

As China continues to advance its digital currency initiatives, the global financial landscape is witnessing shifting regulations and dynamics to accommodate such developments.