JD.com Becomes First E-commerce Platform to Accept Digital Renminbi

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Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com will play a key role in a lottery held in Suzhou to trial the retail usage of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Suzhou municipal government has announced that it will hold a 20 million yuan lottery that will see the issuance of 100,000 “red packets” (traditional Chinese gift-giving envelopes) to winning participants, each containing 200 yuan in the digital renminbi.

Winner of the lottery will be permitted to use their digital renminbi winnings for retail consumption during the period from 11 – 27 December.

The move comes just following the holding of a 10 million digital renminbi lottery in the Shenzhen district of Luohu on the weekend of 10 – 11 October, which awarded 50,000 winners with “red packets” via smart phone apps that each contained 200 yuan in digital renminbi.

The 200 yuan in digital renminbi 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.

In addition to being twice as large as the Shenzhen lottery, the Suzhou lottery will also see the involvement of e-commerce giant JD.com, making it the first e-commerce platform to accept the digital renminbi.

JD’s digital subsidiary JDD will provide technical and service support to the trial, as well as allow winners of the red packets to make online purchases at its e-commerce site.

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