China rolls out regional digital yuan giveaways to drive contactless cash adoption

Regions across China have launched a series of digital yuan voucher giveaways to drive adoption of the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) and encourage consumer spending using the digital currency during the Asian Games and the Mid-Autumn and National Day festivals.

The latest round of giveaways comes as the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute reports that, since the start of the digital yuan pilot programme in 2020, more than 90% of the digital currency and vouchers distributed during previous giveaway events have been spent and that in some regions uptake has been as high as 99%.

Cities and regions including Shenzhen, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Nanjing, Suzhou, Suqian, Wuxi and Shandong have all begun giving out digital yuan ‘consumption coupons’ to residents, enabling them to use the CBDC at participating retail outlets. 

“During this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day ‘double festival’ holidays, various regions in my country have carried out consumption promotion activities with rich content and various forms, and the digital renminbi has frequently appeared in the activities,” Chinese news outlet People’s Daily reports.

“Industry insiders said that on the one hand, the efforts to promote consumption in various places are expected to continue to increase, on the other hand, past data proves that digital renminbi has strong business and technical advantages in promoting consumption. In the next step, digital renminbi is expected to play a greater role in promoting consumption.”

“According to the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China, since the pilot of digital renminbi, the write-off rate of most consumer coupons issued using digital renminbi has exceeded 90%, and the write-off rate in some places has even been as high as 99%,” the report adds.

“From the perspective of stimulating consumption, according to incomplete statistics, the consumption amplification effect of digital RMB consumption vouchers issued in some pilot areas is more than 15 times, which effectively promotes social consumption replenishment and potential release, and verifies that the digital RMB, as the national legal tender, can issue consumption subsidies. Feasibility, stability, safety and effectiveness.”

The People’s Bank of China first distributed digital yuan to consumers in the city of Shenzhen in a ‘red envelope’ lottery in October 2020. China began letting foreign visitors fund a digital yuan wallet using their Mastercard or Visa credit card earlier this month.

China rolls out regional digital yuan giveaways to drive contactless cash adoption was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.