• The Chinese government’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project has not sparked much enthusiasm among the citizens of Hong Kong.
• Only 625 Hongkongers had obtained hard wallets for digital yuan in the first four days since its installation, despite a 20% discount on purchases.
• Local authorities will continue to promote the digital yuan, including the SIM card hard wallet, in an effort to integrate the city into the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area.
Digital Yuan Unpopular Among Hong Kong Citizens
The Chinese government’s CBDC project has failed to attract enthusiasm among Hong Kong residents, with only 625 people obtaining digital yuan hard wallets during its first four days of availability. Despite a 20% discount on purchases from 1,400 local vendors being subsidized by the government, adoption of e-CNY remains low.
Government Promotes Digital Yuan Integration
Local authorities are continuing to promote digital yuan use for Hongkongers, including through issuing SIM card hard wallets that combine financial and communicational functions. This is part of an effort to integrate the city into the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area.
Slow Adoption of Digital Yuan Across Country
Despite efforts to promote its use in Hong Kong, adoption of e-CNY across China remains slow due to lack of consumer interest. These efforts may also be hindered by uncertainty over whether or not citizens have access to sufficient funds and banking infrastructure needed for using digital currencies.
Political Motivations Behind Promotion
The push for wider adoption is motivated by political goals to strengthen ties between mainland China and Hong Kong amid increasing independence movements in the latter region. The goal is that increased integration would benefit both sides economically and politically.
Although still unpopular among consumers in Hong Kong and throughout China, promotion and integration efforts are ongoing in order to realize greater economic benefits from increased collaboration between mainland China and Hong Kong through adopting e-CNY as a payment method.