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China Warns of Fake Digital Yuan App: What You Need to Know

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • The Chinese information technology authority has warned of a fake app that claims to be part of the central bank's digital currency trial.
  • The app shows a similar logo, user interface, and slogans to the real app, but differs in package code, version number, and MD5 algorithm.
  • The digital yuan's role in international trade has brought warnings that the US dollar might be displaced as the world's reserve currency.
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The Chinese Ministry of Information Technology has warned China of a fake central bank digital currency (CBDC) application doing the rounds. The bogus e-CNY app’s visual interface is similar but has a different software version number and package.

The Chinese government has cautioned users about the ‘Digital Yuan Test Version’ seeking to defraud users taking part in an extended central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial.

What the Fake Digital Yuan App Does

According to the Chinese government, the logo, user interface, and slogans closely resemble those found in the original Shuzi Renminbi app. However, the Trojan Horse app has a different package name, version number, and message digest algorithm (MD5). The package name appended to the original e-CNY app is, while the bogus app has a package name of com.ecny.ecny2.

The fake app bears the hallmarks of one of the popular crypto scams in which users are repaid dividends for sharing the software. These schemes are growing in popularity as the Chinese government entrenches the influence of its currency. In January, a Chinese court delivered its first e-CNY money laundering verdict.

At this stage, it is unclear which operating systems hosted the bogus app; Chinese law enforcement may ask Apple to remove an app from the App Store if it is unlawful or contains unlawful content. Android maker Google said it “carefully evaluates every request to take down content. Parties who want their content removed often submit court documents to support their request.

Read more: 7 Ways To Buy Bitcoin and Other Crypto With Apple Pay in 2023

china digital yuan app
Genuine China CBDC App on Apple App Store | Source: Apple

The People’s Bank of China launched its official Shuzi Renminbi app in 2022. The app has multiple digital wallets to transfer money from their bank accounts. The act of tapping to pay is equivalent to a bank ATM withdrawal.

China Has ‘Greater Control’ of Money: Expert

The increased use of the e-CNY fiat currency suggests how China could dominate global trade. The e-CNY could participate in trade agreements, given the recent exchange of CBDCs between the United Arab Emirates and China. The move was one of the first stages in testing a new CBDC blockchain infrastructure linking multiple central banks.

The Shenzhen Haodi Automobile Sales Service Co. recently started accepting car purchase deposits in e-CNY. Richard X Bove, a Wall Street veteran recently warned the US that China could soon displace the dollar.

“The people making the goods elsewhere are getting greater and greater control of the means of production and therefore greater and greater control of the world economy and therefore greater and greater control of money,” Bove said.

Read more: Revolutionary Blockchain Ideas

The Chinese government has not indicated when the e-CNY trial will stop. Nor has it indicated whether it will be compulsory for citizens to use this form of legal tender. BeInCrypto reached out to the Chinese government to find out how citizens could be protected from future CBDC fraud but had yet to hear back at press time.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...