Changzhou, China, plans to distribute digital yuan tokens and coupons worth $700,000 as part of the ongoing pilot program for the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). The initiative aims to promote the use of CBDC during an upcoming citywide shopping festival by distributing e-CNY through “lucky red [digital] envelopes.” In Chinese culture, red symbolizes good fortune, and traditionally, cash-filled red envelopes are given by companies and older relatives to their employees and younger relatives during public holidays in the offline world.
In June, Changzhou initiated the distribution of digital red envelopes, and now, they are gearing up for a “second round” of giveaways in the coming days. The city plans to give away approximately $700,000 worth of digital yuan coins before the end of 2023.
During this latest round of giveaways, residents will receive coupons that offer either a 30 yuan ($4.30) discount for purchases worth up to 100 yuan ($14) or a 50 yuan ($7) discount for purchases of 200 yuan ($28) or more. The distribution of these tokens will be conducted through a lucky draw system.
To participate, residents are required to express their interest by registering through the My Changzhou app, a software developed by the city’s government.
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According to the city’s announcement, the event will take place from July 16 to July 20, and around 10,000 residents will be recipients of digital yuan tokens and coupons starting from July 21.
As is customary with similar giveaways in other locations, these digital yuan tokens will have an expiration date. To avail of the discounts, residents must utilize the coupons by August 10.
Participating residents will also be required to set up personal digital yuan wallets to be eligible for the event.
The city has made notable progress in expanding the usage of CBDC as several major shopping centers, including the Changzhou New Century Mall, theme parks, supermarket chains, and department stores, now accept payments in the form of the digital currency.
Earlier this month, the central bank introduced a novel CBDC wallet solution based on SIM cards. This innovative approach allows users to use the digital yuan even when their phones are powered down, ensuring uninterrupted accessibility and convenience.
Additionally, the Chinese branch of DBS, a bank, announced this month that it had launched a merchant collection service catered to its corporate clients. This service enables businesses to accept digital yuan payments, further promoting the adoption of the central bank’s digital currency in the country.