The tech and payments-focused subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce company has entered into a partnership with the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China.

Local media reported on Sept. 21 that JD Digital Technology and the Digital Currency Research Institute will promote the development of mobile applications and blockchain platforms that are in line with PBoC’s forthcoming central bank digital currency. The two entities will also promote the creation of wallets that support China’s digital currency.

The mobile applications will reportedly support the digital renminbi and they will be integrated with JD Group’s existing platforms and services.

China has so far been the frontrunner in the global CBDC race. In June, the vice chair of PBoC’s Na­tional Coun­cil for So­cial Se­cu­rity Fund, Wang Zhong­min, announced that the central bank had completed the backend architecture development of its digital currency.

Major Chinese companies like DiDi Chuxing — the Chinese Uber —- streaming platform Bilibili and China’s largest wholesale and delivery platform Meituan Dianping are already partners of PBoC in conducting pilots for the digital currency.

A report from August also noted that China’s Commerce Ministry shared its plans to expand the CBDC trials to Beijing, Tianjib and Hebei provinces. Pilot projects were also implemented in the Hong Kong Greater Bay area consisting of nine cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau.