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Central banks across Asia are pushing their own digital currency projects.   © Illustration by Hiroko Oshima
Asia Insight

China's New Year digital yuan tests hasten Asia e-currency race

Central banks push projects amid COVID but first mover Cambodia sees slow uptake

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | China

SINGAPORE -- The specter of COVID-19 looms over China's ongoing Lunar New Year holidays. The government discouraged the usual stampede of travelers heading home for family reunions. Businesses fear for their bottom lines. But 50,000 Beijingers received a small pick-me-up: 200 yuan ($31) in digital "red envelopes" they can use for shopping online or offline.

The authorities see this as a steppingstone to something much bigger.

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