Beijing to Hand Out 200,000 Red Packets As Part of Digital Yuan Trial
After almost a dozen hugely successful trials held across the country, China has decided to run another digital yuan pilot program—this time in Beijing. According to the latest report from BlockBeats, the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau announced on June 2nd that it will kick off a red packet distribution campaign.
The new campaign, which is being marketed as “Digital Carnival,” is co-sponsored by the Beijing Urban Center, Dongcheng District, Chaoyang District, Haidian District, Shijingshan District, and Yanqing District. As part of the trial, Beijing will distribute 200,000 “red packets” containing 200 digital RMB each to consumers. The packets will be distributed through a lottery system to users that have successfully registered with the “Beijing Lottery Platform” between 00:00 on June 5th and 24:00 on June 7th.
Users in Beijing will be able to access the platform through Bank of China’s mobile banking app and ICBC’s mobile banking app without logging in. After the registration period ends, winners of the lottery will be able to download the digital RMB app and create their personal digital wallets. The red packets can then be used at nearly 2,000 designated merchants in Beijing from June 11th to June 20th. The full list of the merchants participating in the digital yuan trial can be found on the Beijing Lottery Platform.
While the upcoming digital yuan trial in Beijing isn’t the first or the largest such pilot project, it marks an important change in pace for the Chinese government. In the past couple of months, the country’s central government and central bank have been ramping up efforts to develop and test its upcoming national digital currency. Back in April, Li Bo, the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said that the central bank will expand the scope of its pilot projects in the coming months and possibly even allow foreign visitors to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to use the digital yuan.
The central bank has also addressed concerns over privacy regarding the digital yuan, assuring users that the privacy of their transactions will be guaranteed. What won’t be allowed under the upcoming digital yuan system is anonymity, with the central bank warning citizens about using the currency for illegal transactions and money laundering.
This is in line with China’s latest crackdown on cryptocurrencies. The country has been ramping up its efforts to curb Bitcoin mining in Sichuan and the Inner Mongolia region by imposing stricter regulations regarding energy consumption. While the country hasn’t explicitly banned cryptocurrency mining or trading, many expect the increased regulatory scrutiny to push more people towards utilizing the government-approved digital yuan.