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Shenzhen, China, Prepares Fresh CBDC Giveaway

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
The skyline of downtown Shenzhen, China.
Source: WU/Adobe

Shenzhen, China, is readying a new digital yuan giveaway as the city looks to showcase the CBDC at a range of upcoming sporting events.

Per Shanghai Securities News, the city is set to hand out e-CNY tokens to some 50,000 citizens as part of its latest adoption drive.

The coins will be distributed via airdrops in virtual “red envelopes” (red is considered lucky in Chinese culture).

To be eligible for the giveaway, citizens will need to register their interest online, and open (or have existing) CBDC wallets.

The city hopes to distribute almost $1.4 million worth of coins in its latest giveaway.

It also gave away similar amounts of CBDC tokens in October 2020, and again in April 2022.

But the city is hoping to combine its e-CNY adoption efforts with drives to increase the usage of its sports stadiums, movie theaters, and tourism facilities.

As such, it could seek to distribute coins and e-CNY discount vouchers that can only be redeemed at sports events, theaters, exhibitions, and similar venues.

Thus far, Chinese efforts to spur digital yuan adoption in the spectator sports sector have focused on international events.

These include the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and this year’s Universiade (World University Games) in Chengdu.

The biggest international digital yuan showcase to date will begin on September 23 at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Spectators have been allowed to use their CBDC tokens to buy tickets for the Asian Games.

Transport networks in and around Hangzhou now accept e-CNY payments.

A Zhejiang Jingshi video reporter explains how the Hangzhou Metro system has been upgraded to accept digital yuan fee payments.
A Zhejiang Jingshi video reporter explains how the Hangzhou Metro system has been upgraded to accept digital yuan fee payments. (Source: Zhejiang Jingshi/Weibo).

Shenzhen, China, Eyeing CBDC Adoption Breakthrough

Vendors in spectator zones and arenas will also allow visitors to pay using the e-CNY, and special commemorative “hard” (offline) CBDC wallets will be distributed at the event.

But Shenzhen’s plans appear to indicate the city will also turn its attention to promoting the digital yuan at domestic sporting events such as the National Fencing Championships.

Other international sports events held in the city will likely also be used to drive up e-CNY consumption, such as November’s Badminton World Federation China Masters.

The China Cup International Regatta, a sailing event slated for early 2024, will provide another chance for the city to showcase the coin.

The city has recently launched iShenzhen, its “one-click reservation platform” for sports and entertainment venues, and could well seek to develop more CBDC-themed options for this.

In July, Shenzhen authorities claimed that 36 million CBDC wallets had been opened in the city, with over 2.1 million merchants now accepting e-CNY payments.