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Shanghai digital yuan trial extends pilots to more than 2 million people

digital yuan renminbi currency dcep

Today, Shanghai announced the launch of the latest central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial. Combined with previous pilots, the trial extends China’s digital yuan pilot programs to over two million people nationwide. It’s not just the numbers that are expanding but also the variety of tests, including trying it out at a facility for seniors.

Shanghai’s ‘Happy Shopping’ event will involve the distribution of 350,000 “red envelopes” – a reference to China’s traditional way of gifting cash – with a value of 55 yuan ($9). Individuals can register for the event between June 5 to June 6, China Financial News reports. The money can be spent from June 11 to 20, although the list of pilot merchants has yet to be announced.

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
2.1 m

This pilot program follows China’s testing of digital currency giveaways around the country. On May 31, Changsha handed out 300,000 “red packets” to the lucky winners amongst 1.3 million lottery participants.

Trial at a senior care facility

Elsewhere in Chengdu, Chinese banks have turned their focus toward the usage of digital renminbi in senior care communities. The adoption of digital currency amongst elderly individuals possesses a myriad of benefits, namely in its zero transaction fees, convenient payment and its offline usage.

On June 2, Taikang Home – Shuyuan conducted its first digital RMB experiment with a resident named Uncle Cheng, who used the digital currency to pay for his meal at the restaurant. “The digital RMB pilot work in Shuyuan is very meaningful. I didn’t understand the digital RMB before, and now I feel it is convenient and safe”, said Uncle Cheng.

In terms of the payment mechanism, it appears that the elderly community members were using standard mobile digital currency wallets. However, the digital yuan has been tested in various other forms, including smart debit cards, watches and other hardware wallets.

Additional pilot cities yet to launch trials include Hainan, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian.

Image Copyright: mrgao / BigStock Photo