China is forcing students and public sector workers to embrace CBDC

China is pushing forward with its CBDC strategy. The digital yuan has been rolled out in schools, universities, and the public sector, with public servants and state company employees forced to accept wages in e-CNY.

Digital yuan, digital renminbi, e-CNY, digital RMB

China is using the education sector to promote the digital yuan, aka digital renminbi, digital RMB, or e-CNY. A few days ago, the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education announced plans to allow payments in e-yuan for services like tuition, accommodation, and registrations for exams.

It’s not about convenience, though. According to the notice, every school in the department is required to have at least one e-CNY use case by the end of the year, which indicates the “pressure from above” is applied to incentivize the effort.

CBDC has already arrived at Chinese universities

Chinese ambitions to roll out a full-scale CBDC implementation in the education system are further confirmed by the recent Q&A session held by Zhejiang Zhengyuan Zhihui (ZZZ), a software and card platform company, with investors.

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According to the transcript published by, the digital RMB has already been introduced in many universities, including Soochow University in Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai, with electronic campus cards, UnionPay scan code payments, and digital currency payments.

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The digital renminbi system is also used for identity authentication on all campuses of the university, including building access control, school bus rides, class attendance, pedestrian passages, and other scenarios.

The Chinese state is forcing employees to accept salaries in CBDC

China’s ambitions to force CBDC on its population are not limited to schools and universities, though. Since the beginning of May, public servants and staff of state-owned companies in Changshu, also in Jiangsu province, have been receiving remuneration in e-CNY.

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According to the state media, this abrupt transition to digital yuan constitutes the most comprehensive implementation of the digital renminbi so far.

Oxford experts: “China leads the world when it comes to CBDC development”

China’s CBDC program took off in mid-2020 and has been in the pilot stage since, but recently it has started to transition into a full-blown strategy. The state has been actively promoting the digital yuan using a stick-and-carrot approach, with massive giveaways on the one hand, and minimum use case requirements imposed on local administration on the other hand.

According to the 2022 paper by Oxford experts, “China literally leads the world when it comes to CBDC development,” putting pressure on other countries to follow in its footsteps. Currently, it is estimated that around 90% of central banks are actively engaged in CBDC research and/or development.