Chinese local government employees to receive central bank digital currency in May - report

China's national digital currency (DCEP) will be issued to local government employees in the city of Suzhou in May, a local news outlet reported on Thursday. 

Citing an official document, China Star Market said that Suzhou municipal government employees would receive 50% of their May transportation subsidies in DCEP. The digital currency will be issued to them by four state-owned banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, and the China Construction Bank. 

According to China Star Market, the official document is asking all government institutions and committees to sign DCEP issuance contracts with these banks in preparation for the May launch. All employees are asked to download digital wallets developed by these banks to receive their subsidies. 

Earlier this week, The Block reported that the Agricultural Bank of China had piloted a digital wallet app. However, at the time, only users who are on the bank's white list were allowed to register accounts on the app. In December 2019, PBOC reportedly planned to roll out DCEP pilot programs in several major Chinese cities, including the cities of Shenzhen and Suzhou. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the central bank also mentioned on several occasions that the development and testing of the digital currency were "progressing smoothly."