Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s biggest state-owned commercial lenders, has set up a fintech innovation center in Xiong’an, a model for a so-called smart city, according to financial newspaper Securities Daily

Fast facts:

  • The new fintech innovation center will support the development of Xiong’an as a smart city with blockchain technology, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence technologies and other innovations, according to local media reports. 
  • Agricultural Bank also said it would test the digital yuan in Xiong’an, and research and develop e-CNY hardware wallets with features such as offline payment and controllable anonymity.   
  • Xiong’an, about 100km from Beijing, is the first national so-called new area directly overseen by the central committee of China’s communist party and the State Council. It is planned to be a model for Chinese urban development in the future
  • Tech giants such as Alibaba’s Ant group have signed contracts with Xiong’an to build  blockchain-based house-rental platforms. Xiong’An is also an e-CNY testbed. This month, Xiong’an paid salaries to some construction workers using digital yuan, according to a report by People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the communist party.