Covid in Shijiazhuang (2), Chinese Banks, Digital RNB Commentary from the Web, Week 2, 2021

Life amid Lockdown 2.0 in Shijiazhuang

Shijiazhuang is currently dealing with the largest outbreak of COVID-19 in China in months, with more than 300 cases. Government officials have instituted strict lockdown measures, with the promise that Hebei, its province, would be "the moat to safeguard the political security of Beijing." What is it like living in Shijiazhuang during this time?

By Todd Jackson Published January 14, 2021.


Banking Across Borders: Are Chinese Banks Different? 

IMF Working Paper No. 20/249  (November 2020), by Cerutti, Eugenio and Koch, Catherine and Pradhan, Swapan-Kumar, Available at SSRN:

We explore the global footprint of Chinese banks and compare it with that of other bank nationalities. Chinese banks have become the largest cross-border creditors for almost half of all emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). Their global reach resembles that of banks from advanced economies (AEs). We take a nationality approach as international banks, and Chinese banks in particular, grant a substantial share of their cross-border loans from affiliates located abroad. But differences remain. Using a gravity model with a novel measure of distance capturing the role of foreign affiliates across all bank nationalities, we find that larger distances deter cross-border bank lending to EMDEs more than to AEs. For Chinese banks, however, distance deters lending to EMDEs less than for peer EMDE banks. We show that for all banks combined, bilateral economic interactions like trade, FDI and portfolio investment, positively correlate with lending. Chinese banks' lending to EMDEs also strongly correlates with trade, but not with FDI and, unlike other banks, it correlates negatively with portfolio investment.


China, the United States, and central bank digital currencies: how important is it to be first? By Chorzempa, Martin (January 13, 2021),  China Economic Journal, DOI: 10.1080/17538963.2020.1870278.

In only a few years, central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have gone from a fringe idea promoted by cryptocurrency bloggers to an idea now seriously explored by 80% of the world’s major central banks, including the People’s Bank of China and the United States Federal Reserve. This paper gives an overview of the drive at the world’s central banks to evaluate CBDCs and examines the reasons behind the world’s two leading economies’ stark divergence in central bank digital currency development. China committed much earlier to launching a CBDC, announcing its intention to do so in 2016, and it has since then taken more concrete steps towards piloting and issuing a CBDC than the Federal Reserve, which has yet to commit to ever issuing one. 


Renminbi between digitalisation and internationalization. Podcast with Michael Sung, professor at the fintech research centre at Fudan University’s Fanhai International School of Finance, sponsored by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF)

Michael Sung joins Pierre Ortlieb, economist at OMFIF, to discuss the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency project, the broader central bank digital currency ecosystem and China’s efforts to internationalise its currency. They delve into the mechanics of the PBoC’s digital currency/electronic payment and how it would operate with other CBDC projects.