China’s CBDC and International Landscape


Central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a game changer for the economy in digital era. As a fiat currency, CBDC affects numerous actors ranging from commercial banks and other businesses to households. It brings new issues, including data regulation and a new CBDC ecosystem that will profoundly affect business practice and even daily life. China is likely the first major economy to issue CBDC. An increasing number of countries are also exploring CBDC. This event will discuss cutting-edge issues. For instance, what is the future of CBDC? How would it likely affect banks, other businesses and the public? How would market players engage with it? What would the international landscape look like after its official launch?  


Deborah Healey is a professor at UNSW Law and a co-director of Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, UNSW Law & Justice. She is also a member of the Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation. Her research and teaching focus on competition law and policy in Australia, China, Hong Kong and the ASEAN nations and she has written widely on them over a long period of time.

She is a regular visitor to those jurisdictions to research and teach. Within the area of competition law, she is particularly interested in the role of government in the market, both in Australia and internationally; merger regulation; competition in banking and finance; and the digital economy. Deborah has undertaken substantial research in the development of the Anti-Monopoly Law of China against the background of its political economy and has written widely alone and with Chinese co-authors and in material translated into Chinese. She has consulted with, and completed research projects for, UNCTAD, OECD and ASEAN. She is a Non-Government Adviser to the International Competition Network and a member of the Law Council of Australia Competition Law Committee.


Xie Wen graduated from National University of Singapore with a Ph.D degree in Industrial and System Engineering. She joined Standard Chartered Bank in 1997 and now is in her current role as Co-head of Client Coverage, Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking China. She is widely respected within the banking industry as an experienced banker and a risk management expert with outstanding leadership and execution capabilities. Xie Wen is dedicated to building a technology-led cross-border financial platform, providing corporate and institutions with international high-quality financial services, and making Standard Chartered China the preferred international bank and financial partner of corporate and institutional customers.

Wouter Bossu currently serves as Senior Counsel for the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He is of Belgian origin and holds degrees in law (Leuven) and business administration (Louvain-la-Neuve). Prior to joining the Fund, he worked for the legal departments of the Belgian and the European Central Banks. His specialties are the legal frameworks of central banking, financial markets and financial stability. 

Wei Shen is a KoGuan Distinguished Professor of Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Law School. Prior to teaching at the law school, Professor Shen practiced in major US and UK firms in Shanghai, Chicago and Hong Kong for a decade primarily assisting multinational clients in their Chinarelated transactions such as foreign direct investment, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, project finance and commercial arbitration. He is now teaching international investment law, international financial regulation, company law, international economic law and contract law in the law school. Professor Shen’s current research interests include international investment law, corporate governance, financial regulation, and international commercial arbitration.

Professor Heng Wang is co-director of Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, UNSW Law & Justice. Heng was named Australia's research field leader in international law by The Australian newspaper’s Research 2020 magazine. He has been a recipient of major awards and grants. His work explores the future of international economic development, often from Chinese and regional perspectives. His present focus is on law and technology particularly central bank digital currency. He has advised or spoken at events organized by international organizations and institutions (e.g., APEC, BIS, ICC, UNCITRAL, WTO), and the private sector. He is regularly interviewed by the media.

About the joint CIBEL-SJTU event 

As a leader in the field of CBDC, UNSW Law & Justice’s Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law Centre (CIBEL) has contributed in the discussion and research on digital currency by having several grants, award-winning research output, and events on CBDC since January 2018, including a CBDC workshop hosted by CIBEL in November 2018 (watch online).

Following the developments and changes in the post-pandemic context, this event co-hosted by UNSW CIBEL and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) will explore cutting-edge issues about CBDC. This roundtable discussion is supported by UNSW-Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Collaborative Research Fund “China’s New Approach to Currency: Central Bank Digital Currency as a Game Changer in World Economy?” led by Profs Heng Wang (UNSW) and Wei Shen (SJTU).