Hong Kong to allow mainland China’s digital currency in local shops

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18th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong will now accept mainland China’s pilot digital currency for transactions in local shops. The announcement was made by the head of Hong Kong’s de facto central bank on Friday. This move comes as part of a program supported by Beijing, enabling residents of mainland China and Hong Kong to create digital yuan wallets through a mobile app developed by China’s central bank. These wallets will allow users to make payments at retail stores and select online shops in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

According to the latest figures from China’s central bank, transactions using the e-CNY, primarily for domestic retail payments in China, reached 1.8 trillion yuan (US$249.27 billion) by the end of June 2023, with 120 million digital wallets already opened. The digital yuan wallets can currently be used at over 10 million merchants across 17 provinces and cities in mainland China.

In Hong Kong, each wallet will have a balance limit of 10,000 yuan, with a maximum single transaction limit of 2,000 yuan and a daily payment limit of 5,000 yuan, as confirmed by officials from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). At present, peer-to-peer transfers are not permitted.

The expansion of the e-CNY pilot in Hong Kong enables users to top up their wallets conveniently, eliminating the need for a mainland bank account and facilitating merchant payments in mainland China for Hong Kong residents, according to HKMA Chief Executive Eddie Yue. It is worth noting that users of other digital yuan wallets, such as those offered by Ant Group and Tencent, can already make payments in Hong Kong.