Chinese city of Suzhou to give away $3 million in digital yuan via lottery


The Chinese city of Suzhou is launching another large trial of China's digital yuan initiative.

The Suzhou government announced in a blog post on Friday that it will give away 20 million yuan, or about $3 million, in the form of China's central bank digital currency, known as DC/EP.

The $3 million digital yuan will be given out in the form of 100,000 red packets via a lottery that's only open to residents in Suzhou. Each red packet will be worth 200 yuan, or about $30.

The government said local citizens can register for the lottery between December 5 and December 6 and the results will be announced on December 11, one day before the annual Double 12 online shopping festival. 

Lottery winners can spend the free digital yuan from December 11 to December 27 at shops that support the DC/EP payment as well as at selected online shops on e-commerce giant JD.com, according to the blog post.

In addition, the government said selected winners from the lottery will be invited to test out the offline payment feature that's built into a DC/EP wallet.

For the Suzhou test, residents will only be able to activate a DC/EP wallet via six state-owned banks. These institutions are the Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, and the Postal Savings Bank of China.

Suzhou's digital yuan trial also comes just months after the city of Shenzhen completed a similar test rollout, which gave away about $1.5 million worth of digital yuan to local citizens who could spend the DC/EP in over 3,000 shops.

China has been rolling out various trials of the digital yuan since April this year in primarily four cities: Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong'An.

The Block reported previously that the ICBC has opened up internal DC/EP wallet features inside the bank's mobile app to invite users in Chengdu.

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