China updates digital yuan wallet app for Apple users

China has issued an update to the pilot version of its digital yuan wallet app for Apple users that is “adapted to the iOS 15.4 system changes” released this week, and has uncovered an attempt to use the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in a fraud and money laundering case, according to local media reports.

digital yuan symbol

The updated iOS version of the app — known as 1.07 — will be made available to Apple users across the 10 cities where the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) began piloting its CBDC wallet in January.

The new update “has improved accessibility services, supports ‘voice-over’ reading of passwords, improved the face recognition function, optimised the process of retrieving the login password and added more service prompts,” China’s IT Home says.

Fraud case

Police in Yushui have also reported the first case uncovered in the city of fraud and attempted money laundering using the digital yuan.

According to the report, a man from Changchun defrauded a woman from Xinyu of “hundreds of thousands of yuan by posing as a public prosecutor” and contacted “an online money laundering gang through a certain platform and downloaded the digital RMB app according to the online instructions” before transferring the funds to a bank account and then to an Alipay account.

“In order to determine the users and environment of the e-wallet, the police handling the case successively visited financial institutions such as provincial and municipal banks, and with the assistance of the relevant departments of the Municipal Public Security Bureau, and found out that the funds in the e-wallet belonged to digital RMB” before identifying the suspect, local news outlet JX News says.

“After the work of the police, the criminal suspect has refunded 30,000 yuan (US$4,725) to the victim.”

PBOC first revealed that it had discovered the existence of counterfeit digital yuan wallets in October 2020.

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