January 12, 2022

China's Digital Currency and Authoritarianism

China is the first major economy to develop and implement a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Its CBDC has many names: Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DCEP), the digital yuan or renminbi, and electronic Chinese yuan (eCNY).

A new video explainer from CNAS explores how Beijing’s CBDC efforts will have critical ramifications for the Chinese Communist Party’s digital authoritarianism. As China is in a national blitz to digitize its entire economy, it is strengthening its hand for domestic social control while also influencing financial technology innovation in the global financial system.

To find out more about the ground truths of China’s CBDC, you can read the January 2021 CNAS report: China’s Digital Currency: Adding Financial Data to Digital Authoritarianism.

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