Shanghai Becomes Latest City in China to Hold Digital Renminbi Lottery


Shanghai has joined the ranks of cities that have held lotteries for the issuance of the Digital Renminbi to local consumers as part of ongoing trials of the Chinese central bank’s new form of fintech currency. 

The Shanghai municipal government announced on 4 June that it will hold its own “Digital Renminbi Double Five Joyful Purchase Red Packet Campaign” (数字人民币五五欢乐购”红包活动) as part of the Double Five Shopping Festival. 

During the period from 5 – 6 June any persons currently in Shanghai that possess Chinese phone numbers and residential ID’s were able to apply to participate in the lottery by means of their smart phones.

Applications could be made via the official WeChat account for the event (Shanghaifabu), as well as the accounts of seven banks participating in Digital Renminbi trials. This included all of the big six state-owned banks (Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank, ICBC and the Postal Savings Bank of China), as well as Alibaba-backed digital lender MYBank. 

Starting from 11 June, winners will receive notification via text message, and be eligible to obtain 55 yuan in Digital Renminbi via Digital Renminbi wallets. The Shanghai government plans to issue 350,000 “red packets” (the traditional Chinese gift-giving envelope) to participants in the lottery, each containing 55 yuan in Digital Renminbi, for a total award sum of 19.25 million yuan. 

Winners will be able use their Digital Renminbi awards to make purchases at selected retailers in several trial cities, including Suzhou as well as Shanghai, during the period from 11 – 20 June. 

Within Shanghai itself these retailers will include department stores, restaurants, tourist sights, vending machines, cinemas and lifestyle service providers in the districts of Yuyuan, Lujiaxui, Xujiahui and the northern part of the Bund. The full list of participating businesses is scheduled for release on 9 June. 

China first commenced official testing of the Digital Renminbi in April 2020, in a slew of cities including Chengdu, Shenzhen, Suzhou and the Xiong’an New District.

The Chinese cities of Beijing, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Changsha have all previously held lotteries for the issuance of Digital Renminbi to local consumers, as part of ongoing testing of the new digital currency.

The Chinese capital of Beijing also held a concurrent 40 million yuan lottery during the period from 5 – 7 June, that saw the awarding of 200,000 “red packets,” each containing 200 yuan in the Digital Renminbi, to consumers.

Winners of the red packets in Beijing will be able to use their Digital Renminbi awards to make consumer purchases at designated vendors during the period from 11 – 20 June.