According to local news outlet JS China, on Feb. 1, an annual meeting regarding the trial of the digital yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC) was attended by senior Communist Party officials in the City of Suzhou. As part of the meeting outcomes, party officials have set a tentative key performance indicator (KPI) of 2 trillion CNY ($300 billion) for e-CNY CBDC transactions in the city by the end of 2023 to be implemented by municipal administrators through promotional efforts.
Officials have also set a target of processing $30 billion in e-CNY loans for small and mid-sized businesses in Suzhou by the end of the year. In 2022, e-CNY transactions in the city surpassed 340 billion CNY ($50.5 billion) at 930,000 local businesses and government offices, with over 30.54 million digital wallet downloads. Total financial incentives related to the e-CNY amounted to 40 billion CNY ($5.9 billion), while 18.7 billion ($2.78 billion) in e-CNY loans were issued.
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Simultaneous to the e-CNY KPIs, local administrators are required to oversee the development of at least 1,000 firms in the digital financial technology sector within Suzhou specializing in the artificial intelligence, data, cloud computing, blockchain and machine learning fields by 2025, up from 371 currently. A translated excerpt of the City of Suzhou plan reads:
“By 2025, the People’s Bank of China’s digital assets data monitoring platform, finance and commodities blockchain-powered exchange, internet of things payment solution, and fintech lab will have produced tangible results. This would incentivize the development of the digital finance ecosystem and synergize well with the existing financial sector within the City of Suzhou.”