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Alipay, Tencent Beware: China’s Digital Yuan Is Closing In

  • PBOC token could snatch a third of online payments market
  • China is planning to roll out its own digital token soon
Views Of The People's Bank Of China (PBOC) As Central Bank Cut Benchmark Interest Rates

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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Chinese billionaires Jack Ma and Pony Ma, who built their online finance empires by dominating the country’s online payments industry, are facing what could be the strongest competitor yet: the central bank.

The People’s Bank of China is set to provide its own electronic version of the yuan soon, potentially the first major central bank in the world to issue a digital national currency. In doing so, the PBOC is throwing down the gauntlet to Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Pay for a share of China’s $27 trillion payments industry.