Today unofficial reports emerged of two more digital yuan mass giveaways in Chengdu and Suzhou. A report on mobile website MPayPass says a Bank of Communications video reveals details about the Chengdu central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial. The two-stage digital yuan or eCNY trial will consist of 30 million yuan ($4.6m) for offline usage and 20 million yuan ($3m) for e-commerce on JD.com, China’s equivalent of Amazon. All previous trials have given away a total of 20 million yuan ($3m).
The same report also states there will be a second Suzhou City trial simultaneously, following the first tests in Suzhou in December. However, the source of that data is unconfirmed. December’s giveaway was 20 million yuan, but this time the amount is doubled.
Mass digital yuan giveaways so far:
|Shenzhen – Luohu district||October 2020||50,000||RMB 10m|
|Suzhou City||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzhen – Futian district||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzen – Longhua district||January 2021||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Chengdu||January 2021||250,000?||RMB 50m|
|Suzhou City||January 2021||200,000?||RMB 40m|
Part of the reason for the sudden uptick of activity is the Chinese New Year celebrations on February 12. Both the Chengdu and Suzhou trials are expected to start on January 27 and, in Chengdu’s case, finish on February 26.
On Friday, it was announced there would be a third round of digital yuan trials in Shenzhen follow previous mass giveaways in other districts in the city. The lottery applications opened on January 22 and also target the new year festivities.
Meanwhile, other areas are lobbying to be included in tests. Another report today from Beijing News states that the Beijing city Communist Party held a meeting on Saturday on the topic of promoting digital currency pilots.
Committee member Li Minji said the digital RMB would allow “enterprises in the free trade zone to take the lead in using digital renminbi for cross-border settlements, and explore the use of digital renminbi in key industries.” However, this was not a quote from the central bank, which has stated that the digital yuan is intended only as a cash replacement.