- The Facebook account “Primary Filterz” shared a post with a link on Feb. 4, 2021 with the captioned false claim.
- After checking, no such news from official sources or the mainstream media was found. The Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Basic Law) specifies that “The Hong Kong dollar, as the legal tender in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), shall continue to circulate.”
- The post links to primaryfilterz.com and the web page was showing an advertisement of an upcoming sale of the so-called “Digital Currency of China (e-Yuan)” and its trading platform “YuanPay Group,” disguised as financial news. This content which now cannot be reached again was false and the platform may be operating a scam. Currently, China’s central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is researching the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) in China and will pilot launch DC/EP in 28 provinces and cities (regions) across the country as a trial. It has nothing to do with the so-called “Digital Currency of China” or its trading platform “YuanPay Group.”
- The Facebook page and website of “Primary Filterz” are suspicious and may be involved in cyber fraud. The public should be alert to avoid falling into the trap and incurring losses.
- Therefore, the claim is rated FALSE.
The Facebook page “Primary Filterz” published a post on Feb. 4, 2021, with the shared link “primaryfilterz.com” and an image. The image attached shows the Chinese flag and the HKSAR flag in the background, with two hands clasped in the middle of the image and the text “Due to the Hong Kong-China agreement, the Hong Kong dollar will soon be ceased in circulation” at the bottom.
By the time this report was published, the post had attracted 162 comments, 8 shares and 632 likes.
The Facebook page “Primary Filterz” was created on Nov. 26, 2020 and currently has 733 followers, mainly posting electronic products such as cameras and mobile phones.
The claim questions: Is it true that “Hong Kong dollar will soon be ceased in circulation according to China-Hong Kong agreement”?
HKBU FactCheck Service has checked official sources of Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as local and overseas news websites, and found no such news.
The full text of Article 111, Section 1, Chapter V Economy of the Basic Law, the current constitutional document of Hong Kong is as follow:
“The Hong Kong dollar, as the legal tender in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, shall continue to circulate.
“The authority to issue Hong Kong currency shall be vested in the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The issue of Hong Kong currency must be backed by a 100 per cent reserve fund. The system regarding the issue of Hong Kong currency and the reserve fund system shall be prescribed by law.
“The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region may authorize designated banks to issue or continue to issue Hong Kong currency under statutory authority, after satisfying itself that any issue of currency will be soundly based and that the arrangements for such issue are consistent with the object of maintaining the stability of the currency.”
Article 112 of the Basic Law also stipulates, “No foreign exchange control policies shall be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Hong Kong dollar shall be freely convertible.”
This is why the Hong Kong dollar has always been and still is the legal tender in circulation in the HKSAR. Moreover, neither the central government nor the HKSAR government has so far indicated any intention to “replace” the Hong Kong dollar.
Additionally, the shared link was directed to primaryfilterz.com, and this whole website now cannot be reached anymore. The screenshot (shown below) of the website showed a title of “Special News: China Has Officially Approved The Development of Cryptocurrency and Provided Funds and Named the Cryptocurrency as The Official Currency.” The byline showed the name “Chen Haixiong” with the title “Journalist” next to it. Further below indicated the media outlet as “ForbeM” and the news article was categorized as “financial news,” which was a “sponsored item.” The body of the news said, “Chinese government has just picked YuanPay Group to sell the new digital currency of China, which will be on the market on Feb. 15, 2021 and can only be purchased from YuanPay Group.”
However, as verified by HKBU FactCheck Service, no news platform called “ForbeM” was found. Also, neither any information nor any of the publications of the so-called journalist “Chen Haixiong” were found.
HKBU FactCheck Service has also found that the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand updated its warning message against YuanPay Group on Nov. 24, 2020, stating that the company may be operating a scam, as shown in the captured screen below.
Additional Background on Digital Currency Development of China
In fact, news from Xinhua News Agency quoted on the website of the Chinese government on April 17, 2020 mentioned that PBOC started to study digital fiat currency in 2014. By the end of 2017, approved by the State Council, the PBOC organised commercial banks of a strong standing and related institutions to jointly develop the DC/EP system. According to the news, the research and development of DC/EP is progressing steadily, with internal closed pilot tests being conducted in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’An New Area, Chengdu and the future Winter Olympics venue. In August 2020, China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a proposal stating the pilot launch of DC/EP in 28 provinces and cities (regions).
According to news from the Nanfang Daily quoted by Xinhua News website on August 15, 2020, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC )issued by PBOC, is a central bank liability with sovereign credit standing and has the same value as the printed fiat currency. It is abbreviated as “DC/EP,” and is a digital payment instrument with the same validity of printed fiat currency. This further confirms that the aforementioned company “YuanPay Group” and the “e-Yuan” trading platform may be a scam.
The claim that the Hong Kong dollar will soon be ceased in circulation according to China-Hong Kong agreement has not been officially confirmed, nor has it been reported by any mainstream media. According to the Basic Law, the Hong Kong dollar is the legal tender of Hong Kong.
The original link posted on the Facebook page “Primary Filterz” was redirected to an advertisement disguised as financial news, introducing the upcoming sale of the so-called “Digital Currency of China (e-Yuan)” and its trading platform “YuanPay Group.” The content was false, and the trading platform may be a scam. The CBDC is issued by PBOC and has nothing to do with the so-called “Digital Currency of China (e-Yuan)” and its trading platform “YuanPay Group.” The Facebook page and website of “Primary Filterz” are very suspicious and may be involved in cyber fraud.
We rate the claim FALSE.
- The post on the Facebook page “Primary Filterz”.
- The Basic Law, Chapter V Economy.
- Hong Kong Monetary Authority, The linked exchange rate system.
- FMA of New Zealand, “Warning and alerts – YuanPay Group,” last updated on November 24, 2020
- The website of P.R.C. government, the report from Xinhua News Agency, “PBOC — Digital RMB closed test will not affect RMB issuance and circulation,” April 17, 2020
- The proposal of the Ministry of Commerce, P.R.C., “Innovation and development of services trade, a comprehensive and deepened pilot scheme,” September 27, 2020
- Nanfang Daily, “The pilot programme of digital Renminbi in Greater Bay Area,” August 15, 2020