Digital yuan app removes ‘pilot’ from description, fueling speculation for production

China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, is reportedly gearing up for a full-scale rollout, as the term “pilot” has been removed from its mobile application description. This change has fueled speculation that a commercial release is imminent, although conservative estimates suggest it may occur in mid-2025. While the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has not made an official announcement regarding a nationwide launch, local authorities have provided some clarification. According to a statement, the removal of the term “pilot” is purely a response to filing requirements set by national authorities, and further studies will continue until a date for full-scale implementation is determined. This move aligns with new listing rules that mandate consistent app names across platforms, which will result in the CBDC being uniformly referred to as “Digital RMB” on all platforms. However, some analysts question the need to drop the term “pilot” if the PBoC intends to extend the experimentation period. The CBDC has been tested in various sectors, including transportation, retail, securities, and hospitality, with promising results. Chinese authorities have multiple reasons for expediting the commercial launch of the digital yuan, including diminishing the influence of the US dollar and providing competition to private payment firms like Alipay and WeChat Pay.