Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan has reiterated the city’s determination to develop digital versions of the Hong Kong dollar and the mainland Chinese yuan for retail and cross-border payments, according to an official blog post published on Sunday.

Fast facts:

  • “In the coming year, we will strengthen our preparations for the wholesale and retail issuance of central bank digital currencies in Hong Kong, and will continue to work with the People’s Bank of China to conduct technical tests on the use of the digital RMB (e-CNY) in Hong Kong, so as to provide convenient cross-border payment services for both mainland and Hong Kong residents,” Chan wrote. 
  • In December 2020, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Digital Currency Research Institute at China’s central bank discussed the technical pilot testing of e-CNY for cross-border payments. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has run several small-scale internal tests with staff from Bank of China Hong Kong. 
  • In addition, Hong Kong residents have been able to register digital yuan wallets via their Hong Kong phone numbers and use e-CNY in retail stores in Shenzhen’s Luohu District. 
  • Hong Kong is also working on its own CBDC project. Jointly with the United Arab Emirates and Thailand, it has launched a “Multiple CBDC Bridge” using distributed ledger technology to conduct cross-border transactions between the three jurisdictions’ central banks.