The application of China's digital fiat currency, or the e-CNY app, was online at the one-month countdown to Beijing 2022. With the Games approaching, the e-CNY has been widely used at the venues in catering, entertainment and shopping.
At the Wukesong Sports Center, where ice hockey competitions will be hosted, a reporter was about to buy a bottle of milk at a store. He opened the e-CNY app, topped up money from his bank card, showed QR code to the cashier for scanning, and then got the milk.
According to the venue staff, the trial application of e-CNY started on January 23, providing convenient and safer payment for the Games participants.
In the Zhangjiakou competition zone of Beijing 2022, VISA and e-CNY are two main payment methods at the Beijing 2022 licensed products store. A volunteer at Zhangjiakou Mountain Press Center said that most of the volunteers use e-CNY app at the store, and it only takes about five minutes for a newcomer to complete the download, registration and bank-card binding before the payment.
Many Games participants from overseas are used to applying cash or VISA, while the e-CNY can effectively reduce the contact between cashier and buyer through QR code scanning.
The opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 will take place on February 4 at the National Stadium, where an exhibition of e-CNY has been set up to introduce the digital currency to more people.
A bank staff said, the e-CNY may seem to be a new payment method compared to cash or VISA, but it is actually very similar to other mobile payments, and is accessible to people from all over the world.
According to the statistics released by the People's Bank of China, more than eight million e-CNY scenarios have been established in China, with a total transaction amount of about 87.57 billion yuan (about 13.77 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2021, covering 10 regions in China and Beijing 2022 competition zones.
"The application of e-CNY has been expanding at a rapid speed since 2021. There were only tens of thousands of e-CNY users in Beijing at the start of 2021, but the user number hit 12 million by the end of the year," said Bai Disheng, a deputy manager of Postal Savings Bank of China in Beijing, in charge of e-CNY promotion.
In 2022, the e-CNY scenarios will be further extended, and people gradually get used to it, Bai added.
Currently, the e-CNY is applied in more than 400,000 scenarios in Beijing, including transportation, catering, accommodation, shopping, tourism, medical care, communication services and entertainment.
"During the Beijing 2022, the e-CNY will provide a new payment experience for all participants, and the digital payment will surely be more popular after the Games," Bai said.