News analysis

China races ahead to be first with digital currency

Its savvy consumers, top-down approach, large population give it edge over others with same aim

China has become the first major country to begin using its own digital currency, piloting it in four cities after six years of development.

If all goes well, the millions of tourists and athletes expected at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will be able to use e-yuan to pay for their transactions in an already largely cashless country.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2020, with the headline 'China races ahead to be first with digital currency'. Print Edition | Subscribe