The largest test of Chinese CBDC ended with 8.8 million yuan (US$1.3 million) being spent in over 62,000 transactions during the week-long trial in Shenzhen. According to the South China Morning Post report, the Shenzhen government confirmed 47,573 people from the 50,000 selected by lottery received the digital ‘red packets,’ each containing 200 yuan (US$30), after a total of 1.9 million residents applied to take part in the 10 million yuan (US$1.49 million) giveaway.
62,788 transactions were made at the 3,389 designated shops in the city.
In total, 62,788 transactions were made at the 3,389 designated shops in the city’s Luohu district last week. According to the report, “I received a text message every day urging me to spend the red packet before the trial deadline, so I spent the entire 200 yuan in a department store last Friday,” said one female user on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. A total of 901,000 worth yuan of additional credit was also transferred into the official Digital Renminbi app, which is not available to the general public yet, with users still able to use any of the extra funds they added to their accounts at the designated shops even though the trial has finished.
The payment process is similar to already existing mobile payment methods.
More than 110 gas stations in Shenzhen will also be able to process payments made in the national digital currency starting later this month, according to the state-backed 21st Century Business Herald newspaper. The national digital currency is entering an already very crowded payments market in China, with smartphone apps WeChat Pay and Alipay already dominating the electronic payments sector. Central banks across countries are currently exploring CBDCs. Many central banks have made significant progress this year amid the global pandemic.