Digital Yuan Tokens and Coupons Worth $700,000 Are Being Given Away in China

In Changzhou, China’s theme park, China Dinosaur Park, steam rises from under a boardwalk.

As the trial program for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) proceeds, the city of Changzhou plans to distribute digital yuan tokens and coupons totalling $700,000 by the end of the year.

According to Changzhou Evening News (via JSChina), the city plans to distribute e-CNY in “lucky red [digital] envelopes” ahead of a citywide shopping event in the hopes of increasing CBDC consumption.

Red envelopes stuffed with cash are a common offline Christmas gift from both businesses and elder relatives to younger workers and family members. In June, digital red envelopes were introduced in Changzhou.

A “second round” of freebies is being planned for the next few days, with a total of around $700,000 worth of coins to be distributed across the city by the year’s end (2023).

The most recent round of freebies will include the distribution of discount vouchers that offer either 30 yuan ($4.30) off purchases up to 100 yuan ($14) or 50 yuan ($7) off purchases up to 200 yuan ($28).

A random drawing will determine who receives the tokens. The municipal administration of Changzhou has released an app called “My Changzhou,” via which locals are urged to express their enthusiasm.

The city has announced that the event will take place from July 16-20, and that beginning on July 21, over 10,000 locals will be given digital yuan tokens and vouchers to use during the event.

The tokens will have a time limit, as with such similar offers in the past. The deadline for residents to redeem the vouchers and get the reductions is August 10. To take part in the celebration, locals will also need to create their own virtual yuan wallets.

The city announced that the Changzhou New Century Mall, as well as other amusement parks, supermarkets, and department shops, now accept payments in the CBDC. The CBDC wallet solution based on SIM cards was introduced by the central bank earlier this month.

In addition, DBS China said last month that it had begun offering a merchant collection service to its business customers.

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