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.