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China's plan to end the anonymity of cash

'E-yuan' will enable deeper monitoring of payments and transactions

| China
A customer pays cash, in front of QR codes for Alipay and WeChat Pay, at a pork stall inside a market in Nantong, China.   © Reuters

With cash playing a dwindling role in payments in China, the country's central bank is working on another way to get into citizens' wallets.

The People's Bank of China's notion is to create a digital version of the yuan that could win back a significant share of the payments now being made through private operators Alipay, the service linked to Alibaba Group Holding, and rival WeChat Pay from Tencent Holdings.

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