Starbucks, the American multinational coffee house chain, has denied involvement in digital yuan tests in China.
“We are not participating in the digital currency trial in China,” a Starbucks spokesperson said, without elaborating.
As reported last week, news has begun to come out, reported by multiple Chinese outlets, a number of major companies will be taking part in the digital yuan pilots of the Chinese central bank. According to these reports, 19 restaurants and retail stores are set to take part in testing what is currently known only as “DC / EP” (“digital currency / electronic payment”) in a commercial district of Xiongan.
Starbucks, as well as the McDonald’s and Subway branches are among those reportedly involved.
There are also several other convenience stores and supermarkets run by Chinese companies allegedly involved in Xiongan testing – one of many allegedly digital yuan test sites, where public-sector workers are likely to receive subsidies for transport in this new currency.
China’s CBDC (digital currency in the central bank) tests are said to begin in May. This new currency will be used for the very first time in a collaborative pilot for transport subsidies for workers in the city of Suzhou, according to the local news outlets two weeks ago.
It is alleged that Alibaba’s e-pay affiliate Alipay and the Agricultural Bank of China’s state-owned bank are involved in the process, while the latest report also adds Alibaba’s blockchain and fintech subsidiary Ant Financial and tech giant Tencent to that list.
Meanwhile, Bakkt, a futures trading platform for Bitcoin (BTC), aims to launch their consumer app and merchant portal this year and Starbucks is their first launch partner.