Digital currency

A man plays an online game on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China, 31 August 2021. (Florence Lo/File Photo/Reuters)

A metaverse with Chinese characteristics?

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “Think of the metaverse as an immersive virtual world where people can spend time together and hang out, much like you can do today with virtual reality, dialed up to 11.” Stocks of companies working on constructing the said metaverse have been on the rise. China, with its huge video game market, should have a head start in this realm, but authorities are sounding words of caution. They fear the metaverse will be as ephemeral as it seems and worse, even harder to regulate. How will it get a piece of the pie in its own way?
Cryptocurrency representations are seen in front of an image of the Chinese flag in this illustration picture taken 2 June 2021. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Trade-offs between stability and innovation

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has increased the volatility of the market, not least with bitcoin miners fleeing and the price of bitcoin plummeting. What are the reasons behind China’s regulatory clampdowns and will other countries follow suit?
This photo taken on 1 April 2021 shows a worker adjusting cryptocurrency mining rigs at a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan in China's southwestern Sichuan province. (STR/AFP)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin miners eyeing overseas ventures

Bitcoin mining has been a huge money spinner for many people in China, not least in the less developed areas where it can be a lifeline out of poverty. While some Bitcoin miners have been put in a very difficult position with the Chinese government's recent clampdown on Bitcoin mining farms, they are not giving up yet.
A rapidKL train travels along an elevated track above streets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 1 June 2021. (Samsul Said/Bloomberg)

Chinese companies see ASEAN as a bright spot for investment

According to a pulse survey conducted by Standard Chartered, Chinese companies are attracted to ASEAN’s large market and potential as regional production bases. External factors such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement (RCEP) could also funnel greater Chinese investment into the region in areas such as high-value manufacturing, energy and digital services.
A sign indicating digital yuan, also referred to as e-CNY, is pictured at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China, 5 May 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) innovations

In part 2 of his article on China’s digital currency ambitions, James Pang takes a look at how a Chinese central bank-issued digital currency — the DCEP — can complement existing e-payment methods and have an edge over traditional cash and cryptocurrencies when it is fully rolled out. Being the first major economy to launch a CBDC, China’s experience will be useful for other countries looking to hop onto the digital currency bandwagon. Utilisation of Chinese DCEP could also aid the process of internationalising the Chinese Yuan (RMB).
A sign indicating digital RMB is pictured on a vending machine at a subway station in Shanghai, China, 21 April 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China took the lead in the digital currency race

What’s the difference between virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrency, and e-money? In part 1 of his article on China’s digital currency ambitions, James Pang traces the development phases of China’s central bank digital currency DCEP amid a growing global appetite for central bank digital currencies. He also guides us through the jargon of the digital currency world.
A Chinese Yuan banknote is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken on 7 May 2021. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Will e-CNY spur the internationalisation of the RMB?

Academic Pei Sai Fan notes that China’s active promotion of the e-CNY has been closely linked to its ambitions of turning the RMB into a global trade and reserve currency. He says that the internationalisation of the RMB cannot be rushed. The more important thing for China to do now is to work on building its capabilities for crisis and risk management as well as gaining international support.
People walk past a Huawei logo during the Consumer Electronics Expo in Beijing in this file photo taken on 2 August 2019. (Fred Dufour/AFP)

Huawei senior executive: Trust matters in the post-pandemic digital age

Chen Lifang, corporate senior vice-president and board director, Huawei, delivered a speech at the St. Gallen Symposium themed ‘Truth Matters’. At the virtual session, she stressed that standards and regulations will be two of the most visible embodiments of the interaction between society and technology in a highly digitalised, post-pandemic world. Common regulations and standards will build trust; the more widely they are adopted, the more effective they will be. Is it possible for humankind to build trust across cyberspace and international borders, and work together to construct the future global economy? 
People walk with umbrellas in Lujiazui financial district in Pudong, Shanghai, on the day of the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China, 5 March 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Post-Covid-19: Asia will be the beating heart of the world

Amid the gloom, there’s room for optimism in Asia in the post-Covid-19 landscape, says Benjamin Hung, CEO, Asia, Standard Chartered. The pandemic has speeded up structural changes in this growing region’s business landscape, and created greater opportunities which will pave the way for Asia’s strong rebound in 2021 and beyond.