In a public appearance at the "Inclusion Conference on the Bund" in Shanghai, Ant Group's Chairman and CEO, Eric Jing Xiandong, expressed strong support for China's sovereign digital currency, known as e-CNY. Jing likened the potential impact of e-CNY on the industrial internet to the transformative effect that mobile payments had on the consumer internet.
At the conference, Jing highlighted the key feature of e-CNY: programmability. This unique attribute enables seamless cross-chain communication between the payment blockchain and the business blockchain within the yuan clearing payment chain. This innovation allows one party to execute a contract while the other automatically fulfills it. Jing emphasized that this capability would lead to significant industry synergy.
The People's Bank of China initiated e-CNY experiments in late 2019, selecting cities based on national development priorities and regional economic considerations. The underlying technology of e-CNY remains undisclosed, but its compatibility with cross-border programs like mBridge with Hong Kong indicates its forward-looking design.
Mu Changchun, the head of the Digital Currency Research Institute, a central bank agency responsible for e-CNY development, urged major mobile payment providers, including Tencent's WeChat Pay and Ant's Alipay, to enhance interoperability and standardize e-CNY QR codes. While both apps accept e-CNY payments, it is noteworthy that not all mobile payment platforms utilize QR codes.
The "Inclusion Conference on the Bund" serves as a platform for global technology leaders and scholars to engage in discussions around financial technology and cutting-edge sciences. The conference, which receives support from the Huangpu District People's Government and the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, has established itself as a crucial forum for advancing the investigation of cutting-edge technologies.
CEO Jing also took the opportunity to highlight Ant Group's substantial investments in artificial intelligence, reflecting a broader trend among Chinese tech giants. He emphasized that the proliferation of large language models is poised to reshape numerous commercial activities, from customer operations to marketing and sales.
The conference's theme, "technology for a sustainable future," underscored the importance of next-generation digital payments, ensuring the safety of large language models, and advancing sustainable development practices.
This endorsement of e-CNY by Ant Group's CEO, Jing XXiandong, further solidifies the currency's pivotal role in the future of digital finance. With its programmability and potential for industry-wide synergy, e-CNY stands poised to revolutionize the industrial internet in much the same way that mobile payments revolutionized consumer transactions. The ongoing efforts to standardize e-CNY QR codes demonstrate a commitment to seamless interoperability, ensuring a smooth transition towards a digital future for China's financial landscape.