The adoption of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, has gained significant momentum through a pilot program, offering intriguing possibilities for Chinese business travelers. Recent reports indicate that these travelers can now conveniently buy flight tickets by using digital yuan.

The Emergence of Digital Yuan in China

This significant development was made possible with the partnership between the China Merchants Bank and Civil Aviation Administration of China. Together, they introduced a specialized platform to simplify transactions for users within the aviation network.

This platform enables companies and entrepreneurs to easily make payments for business air tickets by using the CBDC. Furthermore, passengers can leverage it to access additional services offered through the platform.

One travel firm, China Travel Service, has already embraced this novel system by purchasing tickets for its clients via this platform.

The platform’s official launch took place on July 18, commemorated with a grand inauguration event. During this event, the Civil Aviation Administration and China Merchants Bank expressed their interest in exploring further applications of the CBDC within the civil aviation industry.

Shenzhen is using digital yuan.
Shenzhen, a city of China

Embracing Cryptocurrency in the Travel Industry

This move aligns perfectly with The People’s Bank of China’s ongoing efforts to promote the widespread use of the CBDC across various sectors. Major airports, including Beijing Daxing International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport, have already initiated partnerships for cargo-related digital yuan initiatives.

Within the pilot zone of the CBDC, transportation networks, such as railways, light rail connections, and metro systems, have been upgraded to facilitate seamless digital yuan payments independent of power or network connections. Furthermore, buses within the zone now support digital yuan payments, and highway toll booths have adopted digital currency as a payment method.

The rapid expansion of the CBDC is particularly evident in Shenzhen where nearly 36 million digital yuan wallets have been opened by residents, and over seven million new wallets have been created since the beginning of the year.


As the CBDC continues its relentless expansion, its potential as a game-changer in the financial world becomes increasingly apparent. From travel to commerce and beyond, the future of the CBDC looks exceptionally promising.