Starbucks has denied being involved in the ongoing tests in China to experiment with the use of digital yuan.
The tests are actually about to start and they involve several companies, but evidently not Starbucks.
In fact, a spokesman for the company has explicitly stated that they are not participating in the digital currency testing process in China.
There would be 19 other restaurants and retail stores in Xiongan’s commercial district to take part in the testing of what is currently known as DC/EP, an acronym that actually means only Digital Currency / Electronic Payment, although it may not be the final name.
These activities would also involve the McDonald’s and Subway chains, but unlike Starbucks, they have neither confirmed nor denied it so far.
Other stores would be minimarkets and supermarkets run by Chinese companies, whereas those receiving tokens to spend for testing purposes would be several public sector operators who are likely to receive transport subsidies in this new currency.
The actual operational spending tests should start in May, thanks to Alipay, Agricultural Bank of China, Ant Financial and Tencent.
As such, to be involved in the tests will be the financial intermediaries who will manage the transactions, the citizens who will receive the subsidies and the companies that will accept from these citizens payments in DC/EP through the instruments made available by the financial intermediaries.
This CBDC could be the first in the world to be used on a large scale and it should come as no surprise that China is the first to carry out such tests with the intention of issuing a similar payment instrument on a large scale.
One of the main objectives is to replace cash with tokens that can be traced much more easily, and since the Chinese are already widely accustomed to making payments via messaging apps such as WeChat, the spread of DC/EP may not be particularly difficult in the country.