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The “Double 12” Shopping Event Sees Nearly 20,000 Digital Yuan Transactions

While the success of all of the digital yuan trials conducted in China so far is undisputed, few have managed to gain major momentum and truly test out the system’s capabilities. However, the latest major shopping event that took place in the country during the weekend proved to be the perfect testing ground for the throughput of the digital yuan wallet.

Last week, the Chinese government announced that it will be expanding the trials of its DCEP payment system this week with a massive pilot project set to take place in Suzhou. At the time, the government said that the new DCEP trial will be significantly different than the “red packet” lottery pilot conducted in Luohu back in October. 

The trial was scheduled to start on Friday, December 11th, and end on Saturday, December 12th. Around 1,000 participants were chosen to try out a feature that enabled them to transfer money to each other by just tapping their phones, with 100,000 more receiving 200 yuan, worth around $30 at press time, which could then be used to either buy products in various stores around Suzhou with the online e-retailer JD.com. The trial was scheduled to target the “Double 12” shopping event, where online retailers offer huge discounts to customers on December 12th.

The e-commerce giant will become one of the first online platforms to accept the country’s new digital yuan. Huawei Technologies has also been heavily involved with the pilot and has introduced smartphones that support the tap-to-transfer feature that’s set to be introduced to the digital wallet sometime in the future. 

According to the latest report from the Global Times, JD.com processed nearly 20,000 digital yuan transactions in the 24 hours that the trial lasted. JD Digits, JD.com’s fintech arm, revealed that the first digital yuan transaction on the platform was made two seconds after 8 pm on Friday, with the platform taking around 0.5 seconds to complete the payment. 

The company’s data also gathered statistics about the citizens that have used the digital yuan to transact on the platform. According to JD Digits, nearly 80% of all the digital yuan transactions on the platform were made by people born in the 1980s, 1990s, and later. 

The huge age gap between the older and the younger generation might prove to be troublesome for the digital yuan. Cao Yin, the managing director of the Shanghai-based Digital Renaissance Foundation, said that the PBoC is relying on social networks to promote the digital currency. He explained that the latest Suzhou pilot project was modeled after the WeChat red packets and that it was hiring a lot of young talent from private digital currency and internet companies to work on the digital yuan.

“It hopes to implement the digital yuan using market-oriented means,” he said but added that despite successful tests, the country is still taking up a “cautious” approach to launching the digital yuan. 

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