HONG KONG, May 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong will expand a pilot digital renminbi programme to include cross-border usage of the digital currency, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the region's de facto central bank, said on Friday.

The programme, backed by Beijing, allows local residents to open digital yuan wallets via a mobile app development by China's central bank and permits them to make payments in retail shops and some online store in Hong Kong and in mainland China.

(Reporting by Selena Li and Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee)