Lei Wai Nong, Macao’s secretary for economy and finance, said China’s expertise in developing its digital yuan could help the specially administered region introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to local media reports.

See related article: China to issue free digital yuan to boost locked down economy

Fast facts

  • Lei said he will continue to communicate with relevant state ministries and research institutions to explore the possibility of a CBDC, local media reported.
  • China leads the world in developing a digital currency, and has gone as far as carrying out retail trials of the e-CNY in Hong Kong.
  • A common digital currency dovetails well with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grandiose plans to develop the region around Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong province into a rival to Silicon Valley.
  • Joseph Chan, Hong Kong’s under secretary for financial services and the treasury, said last week the city had completed the first phase of e-CNY technical testing for cross-boundary payments, and the next stage of trial will seek the involvement of more banks and test the use of the city’s Faster Payment System to top up e-CNY wallets.
  • China is giving away free digital yuan “red packets” in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Xiong-an New Area to boost consumption amid the nation’s economic slowdown fueled by Covid lockdowns.

See related article: China’s e-CNY pilot to boost Hong Kong as offshore yuan trading center