Banking News

200,000 to receive free digital yuan currency in China’s latest CBDC pilot

digital yuan renminbi currency dcep

Today China’s latest central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot was announced in Chengdu. It is also the largest involving 200,000 people and a 40 million digital yuan ($6.2m) giveaway by the local government. According to Chengdu Commercial Daily, residents of Chengdu can apply for the free money via a lottery, and the digital cash can be used from March 3 to March 19.

In previous e-CNY lotteries, the amount given away per person was 200 renminbi ($31), but in this case, some people will randomly receive 178 yuan ($27) and others 238 yuan ($37).

In many other respects, the tests are substantially the same. The money can be used online at JD.com and at more than 10,000 bricks and mortar outlets, including supermarket chains, entertainment and specialty restaurants. One addition seems to be allowing the digital currency to be used at what is termed as ‘youth entrepreneurship bases’, which are a combination of startup up coworking spaces and accelerators. 

The latest trial involves the six largest state-backed banks. A couple of days ago it was revealed that WeBank and MyBank, the two banks associated with Tencent and Ant (AliPay) will be joining soon.

When the pilot program concept was launched, the regions specified included Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan New Area, Chengdu, and the Winter Olympics locations (eg. Beijing). The only region without a trial is the Xiongan New Area, a new high-tech city under development.

LocationDatePeopleAmount
Shenzhen – Luohu districtOctober 202050,000RMB 10m
Suzhou – Xiangcheng DistrictDecember 2020100,000RMB 20m
Shenzhen – Futian districtDecember 2020100,000RMB 20m
Shenzen – Longhua districtJanuary 2021100,000RMB 20m
Suzhou CityFebruary 2021150,000RMB 30m
Beijing – Dongcheng districtFebruary 202150,000RMB 10m
ChengduMarch 2021200,000RMB 40m

Meanwhile, yesterday it was announced that the People’s Bank of China would be joining three other central banks for a “Multiple Central Bank Digital Currency (m-CBDC) Bridge”. The aim is to improve the speed and efficiencies of cross-border payments. The other central banks involved are Hong Kong, Thailand and the UAE.


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