Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn The new digital yuan could shift the balance between China’s banks and Big Tech firms, such as Ant Group’s mobile payments app Alipay.Credit: Markus Winkler, Creative Commons NEW YORK – While many central banks are still investigating the possibility of issuing a digital currency, China has rolled out a digital currency via a series of pilot programs since last year. The eRMB (my term as opposed to the more awkward official DC/EP) by itself will not help the renminbi to challenge the U.S. dollar’s global dominance. Its true significance instead lies in its potential to alter the balance between China’s technology giants and traditional majority state-owned banks, thus indirectly enhancing the banks’ international competitiveness. The pilot programs employ a two-tier structure with “controlled anonymity.” The People’s Bank of China (PBOC, the central bank) issues eRMB to an authorized group of large state-owned banks and other selected financial institutions, which then make the money available to households and firms — the digital currency’s ultimate users. Unlike with some other central-bank digital currencies under discussion, ChinesSubscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.