One of China’s largest online retailers is paying its employees with the digital yuan, China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). JD.com confirmed recently that it has also been paying off some of its business partners with digital yuan aside from the employees. JD.com is one of the two largest online retailers in China, alongside Alibaba-run Tmall and a member of the Fortune Global 500. The company prides itself on adopting the latest technology—it has the largest drone capability globally.
JD.com provided technology and service support for DC/EP trial programs.
In a recent blog post, the Beijing-based retail giant revealed that it has been working with the People’s Bank of China since September last year. In that time, it has “provided technology and service support for DC/EP trial programs in Suzhou, Beijing, and Chengdu.” The retail giant noted, “in January, the company used the solution to pay salaries for some of its employees, further exploring the application of DC/EP. JD also made business-to-business payments via DC/EP […] and helped make the cross-bank settlement when JD Retail’s DC/EP Bank of Communications account made a transaction to Unis Electronic Business’ DC/EP Bank of China account.”
“Most of JD.com’s digital yuan initiatives have focused on the consumer level.”
The Chinese firm has been accepting the digital yuan for payments on its website since December 2020. In the first week, which coincided with the Double 12 shopping event, the retailer processed close to 20,000 transactions. JD.com was one of the major online retailers that started accepting payments in DC/EP, with the others including DiDi, BiliBili, and Meituan. The largest purchase at the time was worth $1,530. The head of the digital yuan program at JD.com, Fei Peng, told local paper Global Times that most of their digital yuan initiatives have focused on the consumer level. However, the company is shifting focus now.