China Airdrops Digital Yuan Worth $3 Million — 10,000 Stores Will Accept It

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Twenty million yuan ($3 million) in China’s central bank digital currency will be given away to 100,000 people in the country’s largest test of the digital yuan to date. The digital currency will be accepted at 100,000 stores, including JD.com, one of China’s largest online retailers.

$3 Million in Digital Yuan Giveaway

The Chinese city of Suzhou, located west of Shanghai, is reportedly gearing up to hand out 20 million yuan in the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) to 100,000 residents, according to a statement posted Friday by the Suzhou municipal government. The digital yuan is officially known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). The South China Morning Post detailed:

A total of 100,000 digital red packets, each containing 200 yuan, will be distributed to residents on December 11, the eve of the so-called Double Twelve shopping festival. They will be valid until December 27.

“Any Chinese citizen living in the eastern city can register for the lottery through Suzhoudao, the city’s official public services app,” the publication added. The lottery winners will receive the red packets through the official Digital Renminbi App.

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A few hundred digital yuan giveaway recipients will also become the first to use what the central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), calls “dual offline wallets.” This allows them to use the digital yuan to pay for goods in stores without having to be connected to the internet, “effectively replacing notes and coins with the digital yuan,” the news outlet conveyed.

About 10,000 stores will take part in Suzhou’s digital yuan trial. This includes JD.com which claims to be China’s largest online retailer. The company announced on Saturday it has become China’s first online platform to accept the PBOC-backed digital currency, Reuters reported. JD.com’s fintech arm JD Digits will accept the digital yuan as payment for some products on its online mall, a post on the company’s official Wechat account details.

Suzhou’s digital yuan airdrop follows a similar giveaway in Shenzhen where the first large-scale public trial of the PBOC-backed digital currency took place in October. Ten million yuan were airdropped to 50,000 Shenzhen residents and 3,389 stores participated.

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