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

The Chinese city of Suzhou is launching another round of wider trial of China’s digital yuan initiative.

The Suzhou government announced in a blog post on Friday night China time 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 a total of 100,000 red packets via a lottery that’s only open to residents in Suzhou with each red packet being worth 200 yuan, or $30.

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

Residents who have won the lottery 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 in to a DC/EP wallet.

For the Suzhou test, residents will only be able to activate a DC/EP wallet via six state-owned banks, namely, 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 digital yuan since April this year in primarily four cities – that is 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 at least to invited users in Chengdu.

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.