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Hong Kong Preparing to Join Digital Yuan Pilot, Extend ‘Cross-border’ Reach

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Mainland China and Hong Kong are set to co-launch the digital yuan’s first cross-border pilot project – as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC)-led project edges ever-closer to roll out.According to Shanghai Securities News, Howard Lee, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Hong Kong will become the “first cross-border pilot area for digital yuan outside Mainland China.” However, Lee did not put a timeframe on this.Lee explained that “technical testing” has entered a “second stage” ahead of the move.

He claimed that the “scope and scale” of the HKMA’s tests had “been expanded.” He also said that the number of participating commercial banks had “increased from one to four.”The PBoC wants to connect the pilot to the economic powerhouse of the nine neighboring southeastern cities known as the Greater Bay Area (GBA).This network of some nine cities includes aforementioned Hong Kong.

Although the latter has technically been part of China since 1997, it retains special administrative regional status. It also retains its own separate political and economic systems and its own currency.Lee, who heads the HKMA’s financial infrastructure and fintech operations, stated:“Hong Kong will continue to fully support the development of the digital CNY, promote the interconnection of the GBA.

It will increase the speed and efficiency of cross-border payment services.”Lee also noted that a “swap link” project was nearing completion.

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