The People’s Bank of China made the announcement at a conference on digital currency in Beijing.
It's the PBOC's answer to Bitcoin. But get this (via The Diplomat)
China’s eventual digital currency would be quite different from Bitcoin, in that it will be tailor-made for the Chinese government to easily track transactions, and will be under the aegis of China’s central bank. In fact, the PBOC believes a digital currency will actually improve its ability to control China’s currency.
Bottom line: Digital currency is going in a very bad direction.