The digital yuan has been used in more than four million transactions, worth a total of about 2 billion yuan ($306 million), as of early last month. (MINT_PRINT)



JD.com Inc, China’s second-biggest online retailer, will become the country’s first virtual mall to use digital yuan, the cryptocurrency backed by the central bank.

JD Digits, the e-commerce giant’s fintech affiliate, will launch a pilot program this month, and customers will pay for certain items with digital yuan, it said on its official WeChat account. About 100,000 digital cash vouchers, worth 20 million yuan in total, will be issued to residents of Suzhou city in the eastern province of Jiangsu on December 11.

The digital yuan has been used in more than four million transactions, worth a total of about 2 billion yuan ($306 million), as of early last month, according to People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang. The central bank kicked off tests for the online renminbi in some cities in April to bolster its status as a global currency and to help control the domestic economy as it rapidly goes digital.

In October, Shenzhen’s city government gave out a total of 10 million yuan in the digital currency to thousands of randomly selected citizens following President Xi Jinping’s visit to the southern coastal city.

JD Digits will contribute to promoting the development of the digital and real economies by supporting the People’s Bank of China and local governments in launching the digital yuan’s pilot program in Suzhou, according to an unidentified official at the company.