China’s No. 3 telecoms provider has started accepting payment for phone bills in digital yuan on its app, in the latest move by a major firm to advance the country’s fledgling central bank digital currency (CBDC) efforts. 

Fast facts

  • Since earlier this week, China Unicom customers have had the option of using digital yuan, also known as e-CNY, to make payment via the company’s app.
  • China Unicom is one of the country’s three state-owned telecoms giants and has 306 million users.
  • China has been developing since 2014 the digital yuan, which is the most advanced CBDC issued by a major world power.
  • The country has more than 140 personal million digital yuan wallets in circulation as part of an extended soft launch of the digital currency.
  • The upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in February is expected to be a high-profile showcase for the digital currency.