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Report: China to pilot legal digital currency project

China is expected to pilot a legal digital currency project in cities including Shenzhen and Suzhou, Caijing reported Dec. 9, citing a source close to the project.

The project will be led jointly by the central People's Bank of China and state-owned companies, including the country's four major lenders, Bank of China Ltd., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Corp.

Compared to previous tests of digital currencies, the pilot will extend into the consumer sphere in sectors such as transportation, health and education. It aims to trial the central bank's digital currency electronic payment system as legal tender.

The first phase of the pilot in Shenzhen is expected to start before the end of 2019, with an expanded second phase to start in 2020.