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The Digital Yuan App is used by over 20 million Chinese citizens.

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Downloads on Chinese mobile phones have more than quadrupled since last week, as China prepares for the Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics. 

It’s been about two weeks since the pilot version of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) digital yuan app was released for Apple and Android cellphones, and there’s a lot of interest in Chinese residents utilising it. 

Downloads have been growing, and it appears that this trend will continue, with more than 20 million downloads on Chinese mobile devices. 

Android smartphone suppliers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, VIVO, and others collected the data. According to a local newspaper, the Apple App Store, on the other hand, has not divulged the downloads.

The App Can Only Be Downloaded in Certain Areas of China 

The app’s use is restricted to specific places around the country, with a focus on the country’s largest cities and innovation clusters. The pilot zones are known as “10+1,” with the “10” referring to the cities of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian. 

While the “+1” denotes the parts of Beijing, which will host the Winter Olympic Games beginning February 4th. 

Athletes and spectators can also utilise digital yuan hardware wallets instead of the app. This represents a watershed event in China’s innovation economy, as the country becomes the first to employ a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in an Olympic competition.

The digital yuan, or e-CNY, is without a doubt one of the most experienced CBDCs, with a project that began in 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

In November of last year, roughly 140 million Chinese consumers used digital wallets, and nearly 62 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) was transacted. 

A local news outlet said that by the end of 2021, more than 300,000 retailers in Shenzhen, China’s most technologically advanced city, will be adopting e-CNY. 

With the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) digital yuan app gaining traction, it might become a potential competitor for payment applications like Alipay and WeChat.

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