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China starts digital yuan trial by giving $30 to 50,000 people

Beijing jumps to real-world test as G-7 nations raise questions on transparency

Buying food in Shanghai: Many Chinese are already accustomed to paying by smartphone. Now, the government has turned to ordinary shoppers to test a digital currency.

SHENZHEN/BEIJING -- As a couple in their 60s entered the self-checkout at a Walmart in Shenzhen, China's high-tech hub, the woman pulled out her phone instead of reaching for her wallet.

That is no surprise in a country where many use payment apps like Alipay. But the pair were taking part in a first-of-its-kind test of the country's plans to issue a digital yuan. 

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