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Shanghai Prepares for Massive Digital Yuan Pilot Projects

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Shanghai Prepares for Massive Digital Yuan Pilot Projects

The Pudong New Area of Shanghai in China is set to undergo a modernization plan, which includes various pilot projects for the digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). The plan, published by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, outlines a five-year initiative issued by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and General Office of the State Council. The goal is to develop the Pudong New Area into an international hub with new trade facilities. This will involve the implementation of a commercial mediation system aligned with international standards and streamlined customs procedures. Improved supply chain management will be established to facilitate the smooth flow of goods through new port facilities, free trade zones, and the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

In order to attract foreign talent from countries participating in China’s Belt & Road Initiative, the plan also highlights the establishment of world-class medical and educational facilities. These institutions will receive special intellectual property rights for research and development. The introduction of these innovations in the Pudong New Area is expected to create a favorable environment for the adoption of the digital yuan.

The plan specifically calls for the pilot use of the digital yuan in various sectors, such as trade settlement, e-commerce payments, carbon trading, and green power trading. The aim is to expand the application scenarios of the digital yuan in the use of fiscal funds. The document sets a target of achieving significant progress in institutional innovation and the construction of a high-standard market system and a new high-level open economic system by 2027.

China has been rapidly developing use cases for the digital yuan and has already integrated it with several foreign banks. The digital yuan has been utilized for gold and petroleum transactions on Shanghai exchanges. While China promotes its digital currency, it has cracked down on cryptocurrencies this year. The government has issued warnings against the use of stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and has banned crypto mining in the country. Some of the measures taken against crypto miners have been quite severe.

The United States has also shown concern over China’s CBDC progress. In November, Senator Rick Scott introduced the Chinese CBDC Prohibition Act in an effort to counter the expansion of the digital yuan. The US government has been taking steps to address the potential impact of China’s digital currency on the global financial system.

The modernization plan for the Pudong New Area in Shanghai aims to position it as an international hub with advanced trade facilities and innovative institutions. The adoption of the digital yuan is a key component of this plan, with various pilot projects being explored to expand its application. Concerns and regulatory actions surrounding cryptocurrencies in China and reactions from other countries highlight the challenges faced by the digital yuan as it continues to gain traction.

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