Cointelegraph | Jesse Coghlan | Dec 30, 2023
Xie Ping, a former PBOC research director and current finance professor at Tsinghua University, made critical public comments about China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) at a recent university conference, according to a Dec. 28 Caixin report.
Xie noted that cumulative digital yuan transactions had only crossed $14 billion (100 billion yuan) in October, two years after launch. “The results are not ideal,” he said, adding that “usage has been low, highly inactive.”
Despite the government’s rapid expansion of the trials and new wallet features to try to attract users, a January PBOC report stated that only 261 million users had set up an e-CNY wallet.
This compares to around 903.6 million people that utilize mobile payments in China, according to a 2021 China UnionPay report.
The former central banker said the use case of e-CNY “needs to be changed” from its current use as a cash substitute and opened to other uses such as the ability to pay for financial products or connected to more payment platforms to boost adoption.
He compared the digital yuan to other third-party payment systems in the country such as WeChat Pay, Alipay, and QQ Wallet, which allow for investments, lending or loans. He said they “have formed a payment market structure that has met needs for daily consumption.”