The Municipal Administrative Center of Beijing officially announced the launch of an e-CNY enterprise zone to “explore the digital renminbi financial system.” The plan includes support for experimental digital currency projects including by increasing  5G infrastructure to enable faster transactions.

Fast facts

  • E-CNY is China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). It is anticipated to be readying for launch by the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, when it may become the world’s first major fiat digital currency (the Bahamas launched the world’s first CBDC in October 2020). It is also commonly called digital renminbi and digital yuan.
  • The Beijing Municipal Administrative Center is located in the Tongzhou district, about 25 kilometers from Tiananmen Square. It is intended to be a hub for emerging enterprises and also to reduce density in the city center. In 2019, the municipal government of Beijing relocated to this area.
  • Among the goals in the new e-CNY zone is to expand the use of digital renminbi and test the implementation of machines that exchange it for renminbi or foreign currencies.
  • The Municipal Administrative Center zone is the second to test e-CNY in the city. In June the Shijingshan district, site of the upcoming Winter Olympics, announced it would support e-CNY transactions with an eye to testing the use of digital currency by foreign tourists.