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As part of the government’s promotion of the development of the digital renminbi, the Shanghai authorities will distribute currency issued by the central bank worth US$3 million to Shanghai residents. Digital currencies will be decentralized through lotteries, a method that has been implemented elsewhere in China.
Shanghai will issue 19.25 million yuan of digital currency, or about 3 million U.S. dollars. The state media Xinhua News Agency quoted a report from Shanghai that the money will be distributed among local consumers through the lottery system.
Lottery winners will receive a total of 350,000 digital red envelopes. The Municipal Information Office announced on Friday through its official WeChat account that each will be loaded with 55 units of the Central Bank of China Digital Currency (CBDC).
In Chinese tradition, a red envelope is a small bag containing money, usually given to children, family, friends and employees. This is a wish for good luck. In China, red is also regarded as a symbol of energy and happiness.
The Shanghai authorities have invited individual consumers to sign up for the lucky draw. They can do this through the official WeChat account of the local branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the cloud service of Shanghai Bank of Communications. The registration window will be open from June 5th to 6th.
As one of China’s four municipalities directly under the Central Government, Shanghai is under the jurisdiction of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government has been advancing the implementation of its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system, officially known as the Digital RMB Infrastructure. It has given away millions of dollars worth of Chinese digital currency.
Similar experiments have been carried out in other cities in China, including the capital Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Suzhou. Residents who have received relief items can use funds for free at merchants that have accepted the digital currency issued by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).
However, media reports indicate that Chinese citizens have been reluctant to participate in trials due to various concerns related to privacy and government surveillance. Many people are also hesitant to switch from popular mobile payment applications (such as those provided by platforms such as WeChat and Alipay).
What are your thoughts on Shanghai’s digital renminbi gifts? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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