A China Telecom executive has hinted that the digital yuan and third-party payment apps will likely co-exist in the same financial ecosystem – although he stopped short of saying whether or not the forthcoming central bank-issued token would be interoperable with apps such as WeChat Pay and AliPay.
Per JRJ, Jiang Wei, the chair of the China Telecom Blockchain and Digital Economy Joint Laboratory, established e-pay solutions like WeChat Pay and AliPay will “likely coexist for a long time” alongside the digital yuan.
He added that users “with different needs” would probably be able to “choose from a range of different payment methods,” and added that WeChat Pay and AliPay are already widely accepted in China – a fact that many believe will help the digital yuan’s spread and adoption.
As previously reported, the state-owned China Telecom is widely believed to be cooperating with the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC), along with major state-owned banks and other state-owned telecoms giants.
And earlier this month, Cryptonews.com reported that experts both in China and beyond are expecting the PBoC’s token to work not only in conjunction with a number of Chinese banking apps, but also with WeChat Pay and AliPay – with WeChat operator Tencent and Alibaba (the operator of Alipay) believed to be working behind-the-scenes on the digital yuan.
The PBoC has dropped hints about third-party interoperability but is still playing its cards close to its chest, this week distancing itself from a timeframe for the launch – despite the launch this month of pilots in at least five major cities.
Meanwhile, prominent crypto tweeter and Founding Partner at Primitive Ventures Dovey Wan took to Twitter to post a video showing a user making what appeared to be a digital yuan transfer on a mobile phone – although it was not clear exactly which app the transaction was being performed on.
Pretty boring demo of RMB chekcing account transfer to DC/EP wallet but you might find it interesting somehow ##♀️… https://t.co/8hZIz0jHnm
Wan opined that she was underwhelmed by the development, claiming that the digital yuan’s centralized nature meant that the token would grant the PBoC “much more power over monetary policy.”
Learn more: China’s New Panopticoin