The Jiangsu province city of Suzhou plans to conduct digital renminbi lottery trials during this year’s Double 12 Shopping Festival, following the holding of a similar event in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in October.
Sources said to Diyi Caijing that preparations for the event are currently in the testing phase and will soon be publicly announced.
The lottery event is expected to involve the issuance of around 100,000 “red packets” of digital renminbi during the Double 12 Shopping Festival – given that red packets are the traditional means of giving monetary gifts China during special events.
The 12 December “Double 12” online shopping holiday is the brainchild of Chinese e-commerce giants, and involve leading Internet retailers providing discounts to customers over a 24 hour period.
A source said that the purpose of the trials will be to further test digital renminbi applications and will be “similar” to trials conducted in Shenzhen in October.
The Shenzhen municipal government held a 10 million yuan lottery on the weekend of 10 – 11 October, awarding 50,000 winners with “red packets” via smart phone apps that each contained 200 yuan in digital renminbi.
The 200 yuan in digital yuan could only be used to make purchases during the period from 12 – 18 October at 3,389 select retailers in the Luohu district, in a bid by local authorities to spur consumption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Li Lianxuan (李炼炫), chief researcher at the OK Yunlian Research Institute (欧科云链研究院), said to Diyi Caijing that the biggest difference with the Suzhou trials would be the use of both “offline” and “tap” methods for digital renminbi exchange, with the goal of testing the “dual offline” functionality of the digital renminbi.
“The biggest point of this test is how to safely achieve ‘dual offline’ payments with the central bank digital renminbi,” said Li.
“The installation of POS machines by retailers in Suzhou to support near-field communications (NFC) is in actuality for the purpose of testing the ‘tap’ functionality of the digital renminbi.
“In actuality the ‘tap’ function is already very common, for example mobile phones can be equipped with NFC to support POS swipe cards and virtual barrier cards.”
The Chinese central bank first announced in April 2020 that it had commenced trials of the CBDC in four cities around China including Shenzhen, Suzhou Xiong’an and Chengdu, following a five year research and development period that kicked off in 2014.