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China focuses on green travel in two new CBDC trials

digital yuan rmb remnimbi currency

China has launched two new pilots for its digital yuan in Chengdu and Xiong’an at a combined value of 15 million RMB ($2.3m). The trials focus on promoting green travel whilst encouraging uptake of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Chengdu is currently the first city in the country to offer the digital yuan across the entire public transportation system of its metro, buses and bicycles. China hopes that these digital yuan pilots will encourage green travel, help energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions.

During the two day event in Chengdu from July 3 to July 5, citizens can apply to win one of 100,00 digital yuan public transportation packages that include coupons, reports Sina. Successful citizens store their coupons in a digital yuan wallet and may redeem the coupons for tickets via an app on their mobile phones.

To sustain long-term usage of the digital currency, China is taking its incentive-based approach further by publishing daily low-carbon travel rankings of its CBDC users. The top 20,000 citizens will receive additional ride coupons in their digital wallets.

A similar health-focused theme seems to be the case for the new CBDC trial in Xiong’an. Using the format of red envelopes, which have been widespread in digital yuan pilots across the country since last year, the public can redeem amounts of digital cash based upon the step-counting points they have accumulated.

Unlike the Chengdu trial, where the money is reinserted back into the public transport system, the red envelopes handed out in the Xiong’an program can be spent at designated retail merchants.

The Chengdu and Xiong’an trials come at an interesting time for its CBDC development. On Tuesday, China began a full-scale pilot of its digital yuan on the Beijing and Suzhou subways. Applying the digital currency to a city-wide public transport network marks a major step forward for the country’s CBDC efforts.

Digital Yuan Pilot locationDatePeopleIncentive Amount
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
Shenzhen – Luohu districtApril 2021500,000RMB 10m
ChangshaMay 2021300,000RMB 40m
BeijingJune 2021200,000RMB 40m
ShanghaiJune 2021350,000RMB 19.25m
ChengduJuly 2021100,000RMB 12m
Xiong’anJuly 202115,000RMB 3m
2.2 m