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 location||Date||People||Amount|
|Shenzhen – Luohu district||October 2020||50,000||RMB 10m|
|Suzhou – Xiangcheng District||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzhen – Futian district||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzen – Longhua district||January 2021||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Suzhou City||February 2021||150,000||RMB 30m|
|Beijing – Dongcheng district||February 2021||50,000||RMB 10m|
|Chengdu||March 2021||200,000||RMB 40m|
|Shenzhen – Luohu district||April 2021||500,000||RMB 10m|
|Changsha||May 2021||300,000||RMB 40m|
|Beijing||June 2021||200,000||RMB 40m|
|Shanghai||June 2021||350,000||RMB 19.25m|
|Chengdu||July 2021||100,000||RMB 12m|
|Xiong’an||July 2021||15,000||RMB 3m|