DiDi, China’s leading ride service, is to trial the digital yuan

DiDi is working on implementing the CBDC across its transportation platform

DiDi taxi rank
DiDi quickly rose to become the country’s top ride services app after merging with a rival company and acquired Uber China

DiDi, the Chinese version of Uber, is currently forming a task force dedicated to designing and implementing a trial for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) across its transportation platform.

A spokesperson from the ride-hailing mobile service revealed that the company had entered into a strategic partnership with the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in order drive the application of the digital yuan, which is known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

“Under PBoC’s overall DCEP strategy and operation timeline, DiDi’s DCEP taskforce will design and implement pilot DCEP projects in accordance with rigorous safety, security and governance standards,” the firm revealed.

“The partnership is a key milestone in DiDi’s ongoing initiatives to enhance the interconnectivity of online and offline economic sectors in China, as the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.”

Currently, Didi is the dominant ride-hailing mobile service in China. It achieved this position after merging with a notable local rival in 2015 and acquiring Uber China. The company was backed by investments from high-profile companies such as Apple, Alibaba, Tencent and SoftBank since it was established in 2012.

While the details of the project have not yet been revealed, the pilot plan could serve as one of the first real applications of China’s digital Yuan initiative. DiDi has a customer base of over 500 million users in the country, and it offers private car-hailing, taxi-hailing, automobile solutions, two-wheelers, logistics and delivery.

Last May, DDi concluded a $500 million fundraise for its autonomous driving subsidiary and the firm was valued at over $60 billion.

With regards to progress on the digital Yuan, leaked UI screenshots have indicated that China’s four largest state-owned commercial banks are already participating on a development and test run for a wallet application that will be used to store, send and receive the currency.

Furthermore, the test phase is ongoing in four cities within the country, with selected commercial shops such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, and government entities participating in the trial.

In another instance, a handful of government agencies were reported to have received and consumed their transportation allowance through the PBoC’s DCEP.

Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, China still leads the way in terms of research and development in a CBDC. It is the first country to launch a CBDC of its own.

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