China to hand out $6.2M in new digital yuan trial in Beijing

The Chinese government is launching another digital yuan lottery to stimulate its ongoing digital currency trials, this time in the capital of Beijing.

The Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration officially announced Tuesday that the government will distribute 40 million digital yuan ($6.2 million) to Beijing residents as part of a new digital currency pilot.

Starting in June, the program features “red envelopes” — a traditional way of gifting money — with each providing a free online wallet containing 200 digital yuan ($31). These red envelopes will be distributed to 200,000 lottery winners, who must download an application to use their prizes at nearly 2,000 designated merchants in the city. In order to register, consumers can use two banking apps: China’s Mobile Banking App and ICBC Mobile Banking app.

According to the announcement, Beijing residents should apply to participate in the lottery before midnight on June 7, while the winners will be able to spend their prizes by June 20. Users will be able to top up their wallets if they want to spend some extra money, the announcement notes.

The government has carried out multiple digital yuan giveaways in other cities including Shenzhen. These lotteries intend to help the People’s Bank of China test the country’s digital currency after the central bank launched the first digital yuan trials in April 2020.

China has reportedly given away as much as 150 million digital yuan ($23.5 million) in order to promote digital currency use as part of the trials as of late March.

As previously reported, China’s central bank is looking to allow foreign athletes and visitors to use the digital yuan during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

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