American fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s are reportedly not participating in China’s ongoing digital yuan tests.
According to an Oct. 14 report by news agency Sina Finance, China’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, is still being piloted on a “small scale,” primarily involving the retail and catering industry.
As reported, a number of foreign merchants, which were rumored to be part of China’s CBDC tests, are actually not using the digital yuan for payment so far.
Xiong’an, one of the major Chinese cities piloting the digital yuan, reportedly had 19 companies involved in its CBDC pilot, including Starbucks, McDonald's, Subway and UnionPay’s cloud project, Unmanned Automated Supermarket.
However, according to Sina Finance, none of these companies have participated in the digital yuan tests so far, and only accept digital payments through WeChat, Alipay and QuickPass.
None of the firms have issued official statements about testing the digital yuan. A spokesperson for Starbucks confirmed to Cointelegraph that the company “is not participating in the digital currency trial in China.” McDonald’s did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph's request for comment.
Chinese authorities launched the first digital yuan tests in April 2020. On Oct. 5, the central bank of China announced that the currency's associated wallets processed $162 million in transactions between April and August 2020. In order to promote the currency, the central bank conducted a $1.5 million lottery. According to the latest news, 2 million people applied for the lottery to spend the prize at 3,000 participating merchants.