Tencent Holdings has started allowing payments in China’s sovereign digital currency through its social messenger app WeChat, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported today.
Payments can be made directly through WeChat's payment service WeChat Pay by scanning a QR code once an account on Shenzhen-based Tencent’s digital bank WeBank is opened, the report said. WeChat has added a “digital yuan” option on its WeChat Pay page and a “payment with e-yuan” option on the “receipt and payment” page.
WeChat Pay, which is one of the biggest third-party mobile payment platforms in the country, has been closely involved in developing digital yuan projects since February 2018, it said.
Payments can be also made using the pilot version of the central bank’s digital yuan wallet app that was launched yesterday, by selecting the WeChat option, the report said.
However, only people residing in certain areas can register for the central bank’s digital yuan wallet. At present, it is only available in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Suzhou in eastern Jiangsu province, Xiong’an in northern Hebei province, Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province, southern Hainan province, Changsha in central Hunan province, Xi’an in central Shaanxi province, Qingdao in northeastern Shandong province, Dalian in northeastern Liaoning province and the Winter Olympics venues in Beijing and Zhangjiakou.
Close rival Alipay, run by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, started allowing digital yuan payments at the end of last year.
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