Local news site JS China reports that top Communist Party officials were present in the City of Suzhou on February 1 for an annual conference discussing the testing of the digital yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC). As part of the outcomes of the meeting, party officials have established a provisional key performance indicator (KPI) of 2 trillion CNY ($300 billion) for e-CNY CBDC transactions in the city by the end of 2023. This KPI is intended to be implemented by municipal administrators through promotional efforts.
A goal of processing $30 billion in e-CNY loans for small and medium-sized firms in Suzhou by the end of the year has been established by the relevant authorities. With over 30.54 million digital wallet downloads in 2022, the total value of e-CNY transactions in the city topped 340 billion CNY, which is equivalent to $50.5 billion. These transactions took place at 930,000 local companies and government agencies. The total amount of financial incentives connected to the e-CNY amounted to 40 billion CNY ($5.9 billion), while the total amount of e-CNY loans granted was 18.7 billion ($2.78 billion).
Concurrently with the e-CNY Key Performance Indicators, the local administrators in Suzhou are required to oversee the development of at least 1,000 firms in the digital financial technology sector within the city by the year 2025. These firms are required to specialise in the areas of artificial intelligence, data, cloud computing, blockchain, and machine learning. Currently, there are only 371 such firms. An excerpt from the plan for the City of Suzhou reads, when translated: “By the year 2025, the People’s Bank of China will have established a digital assets data monitoring platform, a blockchain-powered exchange for finance and commodities, a payment solution for internet of things, and a fintech lab, all of which will have produced tangible results. This would encourage the growth of the ecosystem for digital finance, which would synergize nicely with the current financial industry in the City of Suzhou.”