Starbucks and McDonalds Won’t Be Part of China’s CBDC Tests
China is moving ahead with its development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), with the country launching tests for the digital yuan in several regions. However, it appears that some food industry giants are not part of the country’s testing technique. According to Sina Finance, a local news source, Starbucks and McDonalds, which are the country’s two largest retail companies, were not part of the testing operations of the CBDC that they are working on. According to the news report, the digital yuan’s trials are only being conducted on a small scale, and that the two companies were just not operating on the same level, hence declared incompatible.
Since April, the Chinese government has been conducted multiple tests for the digital yuan. During this time, news sources have shared several rumors about what companies have been included in the testing process. One of the top regions that were piloting the asset is Xiong’an and there were a total of 19 companies that were involved in the testing program. These companies included some prominent names, such as Starbucks, Subway, McDonalds and Unmanned Automated Supermarket. The latter is a cloud project that was launched by Union Pay, the Chinese financial services firm.
However, as confirmed by Sina Finance, none of these companies have been reportedly involved in the testing process so far. Instead, they are only accepting digital payments via the usual methods, such as AliPay, QuickPass and WeChat Pay. The companies themselves have not made any statement about the project, which definitely puts their participation in doubt. Nevertheless, even though some of the largest companies in the country haven’t participated in the pilot program, it appears that testing for the digital yuan is happening in full swing. Last week, it was reported by Sina Finance, that a program had been introduced in the Luohu District of the Shenzhen province where 50,000 people had been given 10 million units of the digital yuan (worth $1.5 million) via a lottery.
The purpose of the program is to promote the CBDC and simultaneously test it. The lottery winners were be able to spend the digital yuan at almost 3,700 outlets in the city between October 12th and October 18th. The government said that any units that were not spent will be taken back. It was also reported that gas stations in Shenzhen were also accepting the asset. It was confirmed that the testing program had integrated 11 gas stations, with more of them to join in the next few days. The gas station initiative was launched on Tuesday and was developed by state-owned Guangdong Petroleum. Barcode readers have fitted at all the participating stations and citizens will be able to make quick, easy and secure payments.
Dual offline technology is used by the digital yuan, which ensures that it can be used by citizens even if they don’t have access to phone signals. So far, reviews of the currency have been positive and according to citizens, the transactions were quick and it was easy to use the digital yuan.