Starting from May 2023, government officials, public servants, and employees of state-owned enterprises in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province, including those in Suzhou, will receive their salaries in digital yuan (digital RMB).
Changshu City is a county-level city under the administration of Suzhou. However, it’s not just Changshu that is implementing the use of digital yuan for salary payments. Multiple jurisdictions within Suzhou have also started adopting digital yuan for salary distribution.
Digital yuan is a digital form of legal tender issued by the central bank, and it primarily serves as a cash-like payment instrument (M0). It holds the same legal status and economic value as physical RMB.
As of the end of 2019, pilot projects for digital yuan were launched in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an New Area, Chengdu, and Winter Olympics scenarios. By April 2023, the pilot scope of digital yuan had expanded to 17 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Suzhou has been an exemplary city during the three-year pilot phase. In 2021, Suzhou ranked first in terms of digital yuan transaction volume nationwide. By 2023, Suzhou continues to lead the country in various core indicators of the pilot program.
One of the core indicators is the cumulative transaction amount, but not all regions have disclosed their figures. Shenzhen announced its cumulative transaction amount as 18.4 billion yuan by the end of August 2022. As of the end of March 2023, Suzhou’s cumulative transaction amount since the pilot began reached 510.467 billion yuan, with a total of 961,800 landing scenarios.
The pilot program in Suzhou is still accelerating. According to the official website of the Suzhou government, the cumulative transaction amount of digital yuan in Suzhou reached 170.467 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2023, which is equivalent to the target that would typically take six months to achieve.
Furthermore, Suzhou aims to achieve a transaction volume of 2 trillion yuan in digital yuan in 2023. In the same year, Zhejiang Province aims to strive for a transaction scale exceeding 250 billion yuan.