The latest Chinese digital yuan trial will target 500,000 people, up from 50,000 in the first test last October. Plus, six new regions have been confirmed as Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian. But according to Li Bin, director of the People’s Bank of China’s Macro-Prudential Management Bureau, there is still no official launch timetable.
Most of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilots involved giveaways of a small amount of currency. When the pilot program was first announced, it was restricted to five regions, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan New Area, Chengdu, and the Winter Olympics locations (Beijing), so that’s now expanded to eleven.
“The digital renminbi pilot test adheres to the principles of stability, safety, and control, and focuses on small transactions from invited whitelisted users,” said Li Bin. “At present, the number of participants, the number of transactions, and the amount of net exchange are still relatively small. During the pilot process, all parties have a relatively high interest in digital renminbi, and users in the pilot areas are relatively motivated.”
The next phase aims to incorporate feedback, explore applications, ‘strengthen the versatility and inclusiveness of digital renminbi’ and add features.
Luohu Shenzhen latest trial, including cross border
The Luohu District of Shenzhen is the latest test area where 500,000 new users will participate. This is the same location as the very first test in October 2020. Participants in the earlier trial can access discounts when they use the digital yuan to make payments. These discounts are being subsidized to the tune of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) to encourage users to recharge their wallets and enable a more in-depth test. The digital currency can be used at 30,000 Shenzhen stores, with 500 of them offering special discounts.
|Shenzhen – Luohu district||October 2020||50,000||RMB 10m|
|Suzhou – Xiangcheng District||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzhen – Futian district||December 2020||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Shenzen – Longhua district||January 2021||100,000||RMB 20m|
|Suzhou City||February 2021||150,000||RMB 30m|
|Beijing – Dongcheng district||February 2021||50,000||RMB 10m|
|Chengdu||March 2021||200,000||RMB 40m|
|Shenzhen – Luohu district||April 2021||500,000||RMB 10m|