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China’s Changzhou to Give Away Digital Yuan Tokens, Coupons Worth $700k

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Steam rises beneath a walkway in the China Dinosaur Park, a theme park in Changzhou, China.
Source: Taifeng/Adobe

The city of Changzhou, China, is set to give away $700,000 worth of digital yuan tokens and coupons before the year is out, as the nation’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot continues.

Per Changzhou Evening News (via JSChina), the city is hoping to boost CBDC spending during an upcoming citywide shopping festival by distributing e-CNY in “lucky red [digital] envelopes.”

Red is a symbol of good fortune in China.

In the offline world, companies and older relatives traditionally give cash-filled red envelopes to their employees and younger relatives during public holidays.

Changzhou began distributing digital red envelopes in June.

But is now preparing for a “second round” of giveaways in the days ahead, with a total of around $700,000 worth of coins to be given away in the city before the end of 2023.

The latest batch of giveaways will see coupons distributed that either provide 30 yuan ($4.30) discounts for purchases worth up to 100 yuan ($14) or 50 yuan ($7) for 200 yuan ($28) purchases.

The tokens will be issued via a lucky draw.

And residents have been asked to register their interest via the My Changzhou app, a piece of software developed by the city’s government.

A map of China, with Changzhou, a city in the East of China, highlighted.
Changzhou, a city in the East of China. (Source: Dagvidur/Uwe Dedering [CC BY-SA 4.0])

China’s CBDC: Adoption Efforts Continue

The event will run from July 16 to July 20, the city stated, and some 10,000 residents will receive digital yuan tokens and coupons from July 21.

As has been the case with similar giveaways elsewhere, the tokens will have an expiry date.

Residents will need to use the coupons by August 10 in order to enjoy their discounts.

Residents will also need to open personal digital yuan wallets to take part in the event.

The city stated that several of its biggest shopping centers now accept payments in the CBDC, including the Changzhou New Century Mall, theme parks, supermarket chains, and department stores.

Earlier this month, the central bank unveiled a SIM card-based CBDC wallet solution that can be used when phones are powered down.

And the Chinese branch of the bank DBS stated this month that it had launched a merchant collection service for its corporate clients.