Shenzhen to Double Digital Yuan Giveaway in China's Latest Lottery Test

The latest digital currency giveaway is aimed to gauge user experience ahead of an expected launch.

Jan 4, 2021 at 9:34 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:51 a.m. UTC

Shenzhen, a major Chinese city, is giving residents the chance to win 20 million digital yuan (worth over US$3 million) in its latest “red envelope” giveaway.

  • On Jan. 1, 2021, the lottery officially opened, allowing the city's residents to register through the "i Shenzhen" platform to be included in the draw.
  • The lottery is aimed to test China's in-development central bank digital currency in the hands of the public.
  • A total of 100,000 red envelopes will be distributed, with winners to be awarded 200 digital yuan each to spend from Jan. 7 until Jan. 17 at around 10,000 physical merchants.
  • Red envelopes are a common way of gifting cash in China on special holidays or occasions such as weddings.
  • The nation is accelerating its push toward the adoption of a digital currency. The People’s Bank of China has been working with banks and commercial entities on public pilots to gauge user experience.
  • Shenzhen held a similar lottery in October 2020, handing out a total of 10 million digital yuan (worth around $1.5 million) to winners.
  • In the city of Suzhou in December, residents also participated in another lottery-based trial, giving them the opportunity to spend their digital yuan online and testing the offline payments feature of the digital currency.

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