Digital yuan campaign planned for disputed South China Sea island

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Southern China’s Hainan Province, which administers the prefectural city of Sansha on a disputed South China Sea archipelago, will launch a two-week campaign later this month to promote the use of the digital yuan among the inhabitants of the island.

The city, established in 2012, is at the forefront of land claims disputes in the South China Sea and is unusual in being both the smallest city in the People’s Republic of China in terms of population and largest in size. geographic scope – formally encompassing over 280 islands and their surrounding waters, reaching nearly 800,000 square miles in sea and land area.

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Between April 12 and 25, the Hainan branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, together with the Haikou branch of the Central Bank of China and the Sansha municipal government, plans to hold a digital consumer parade of the yuan with the aim of encouraging consumer adoption of the next digital currency.

Official reports advertise the event as a temporary transformation of Yongxing Island, where the city’s administrative headquarters is located, into a “digital renminbi consumption island.” The promotion campaign will target Sansha city government staff, local employees of businesses, other institutions and island residents.

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The Hainan branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank, or ICBC Hainan, will support various consumer offers in supermarkets, hotels and restaurants on the island, where participants will receive a reduction of 99 yuan ($ 15) for each expense. of 100 yuan.

ICBC Hainan’s merchant and mobile banking infrastructure, as well as digital yuan wallets, will be implemented to demonstrate the safety and convenience of the new currency and raise awareness of it. In a brief overview for the public, Chinese official media reports explain:

“The digital renminbi may be simply equivalent to the cash renminbi, but in a different form, and has the characteristics of legal compensation and controllable anonymity.”

As previously reported, China has already hosted a series of digital yuan promotional events, including a recent one in conjunction with International Women’s Day and Chinese New Year’s festive lotteries. Previous pilot projects to test the central bank’s digital currency and its infrastructure took place in the regions of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an and Chengdu provinces, with further tests in Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Qingdao, Dalian and Xi’an scheduled for 2021.

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