Monique Taylor is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki and a Research Affiliate at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London. She received her PhD in International Political Economy from the University of Queensland. Her latest book, China’s Digital Authoritarianism: A Governance Perspective, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.

The Digital Yuan: Purpose, Progress, and Politics

This essay explores the purpose, progress, and strategic political motivations driving China’s development of the digital yuan. This central bank digital currency is not merely a technological advancement or modernisation of a fiat currency, it also serves as a key instrument in the agenda of the People’s Bank of China to consolidate monetary authority. The essay analyses the development of the digital yuan in the context of China’s broader economic and political strategies, including enhancing financial inclusion, centralising the nation’s payment ecosystem—currently dominated by private fintech players—and potentially challenging the US dollar’s global dominance. It also assesses its possible impacts on international trade, while addressing the challenges it faces in gaining global acceptance.

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