Today the Chinese press reports rumors of another central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial lottery planned for Suzhou on December 12th. However, the original article in the Paper has been taken down. Another publication, Sina, stated the Paper’s digital yuan news was based on people familiar with the matter. The removal could either mean the news is untrue or more likely not approved.
Suzhou was the location of one of the earliest trials of the CBDC for transport subsidies targeting workers at four state-owned banks.
There was a lottery to give away 200 digital yuan ($30) or eCNY to 50,000 people in Shenzhen in October. Today’s news states the next trial will target Double 12 day, also called Couples Day and the third biggest shopping holiday in China on December 12th.
Progress has been made in the app features because the Suzhou trial includes offline use, which enables users to bump phones to transfer the digital currency. Retail outlets in the Xiangcheng District of Suzhou have installed NFC QR codes.
Originally the currency trials were planned for four districts, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan New District, Chengdu as well as the future Winter Olympics. Chengdu is also apparently proceeding with a trial on an invitation-only basis.
Three weeks ago, we reported that average transaction sizes in digital renminbi trials have almost trebled from 352 yuan ($52.55) to 1030 yuan ($153.77) between August and October, and we wondered whether this reflected more business usage.
Meanwhile, a month ago, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) published a draft law that will legally recognize the CBDC.