"The article therefore calls for the Digital Yuan to be usable across borders"
A large part of the reason the renminbi can't compete with the dollar on the international stage is that it's pretty much illegal to take it out of the country. It's only in the last decade that it's been allowed outside China at all, and it's still largely restricted to banks and certain businesses interacting with a limited selection of other countries. Chinese currency is worthless to most normal people outside China because you can't actually take it or use it anywhere. Obviously there are a variety of political and economic issues that might prevent it replacing the dollar if it were allowed out in the wild, but by far the biggest factor at the moment is the Chinese government actively blocking it from even attempting to do so.
If this new digital currency does succeed, it won't be because they've been first adopters breaking the way into a brave new world, it will simply be that there are enough people wanting to use Chinese currency instead of dollars that they'll all jump on it as soon as they're actually allowed to do so. Throw out the digital part and just open up the existing renminbi and you'd see exactly the same thing happen.