China is preparing to promote the adoption of its digital yuan ahead of the upcoming Asian Games. This will be the first time the nation showcases its CBDC to a large international audience. In the pilot zones, citizens will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the event using the central bank’s official CBDC app. The Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, from September 23 to October 8. Beijing sees this event as a crucial moment to promote its digital currency.

State-run commercial banks and e-commerce platforms are expected to play a significant role in demonstrating the token to international visitors. Meituan, a leading e-commerce company, believes that using the digital yuan in “large-scale international sports events” will showcase China’s digital economy and inclusive finance to the global community.

The tourism sector, banks, and retailers believe that the Asian Games will provide an excellent opportunity for further CBDC adoption. They anticipate that the challenges faced in the tourism industry will help improve the functionality of the digital yuan. Banks and retailers have already promoted the coin during the recently concluded Chengdu World University Games, treating it as a test run for Hangzhou.

To facilitate the use of digital yuan, banks have issued manuals and instruction guides in multiple languages at sporting events. Additionally, merchants in the athletes’ village have upgraded their point-of-sale machines to accept CBDC payments.

Asia Games: Chinese CBDC in the Spotlight?

The People’s Bank of China’s official CBDC app will be updated to allow visitors to buy tickets, pay for transport, access event information, and other services during the games. Rail and metro networks in and around Hangzhou have already been upgraded to accept CBDC payments.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has released commemorative “Asian Games-themed digital yuan hardware wallets,” which can be used by Chinese spectators outside the pilot zone and non-Chinese nationals. The ICBC has also been actively promoting the digital yuan in Wenzhou, another city hosting Asian Games events.

The ICBC’s branch in Wenzhou has focused on developing new usage scenarios for the digital fiat and has upgraded and transformed bank outlets in the region. Furthermore, the bank plans to launch a CBDC-powered supply chain financing solution.


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