Digital Yuan to Get Second Real World Trial in Shenzhen

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  • Residents in Shenzhen, China will have another chance to participate in a digital yuan trial
  • The government is airdropping 20 million yuan ($3 million) between 100,000 residents for a second real world test
  • This second test is a follow up to the first in October which wasn’t overly well received by users

Shenzhen locals who didn’t get a chance to participate in the first digital yuan airdrop have got another chance, with the government’s second test due to go live Thursday. 100,000 “Futian Youli Digital RMB Red Packets” have been issued in a lottery format to applicants in the region, each of which contains 200 yuan ($31) which can be used at more than 10,000 merchants. The scheme, which will run for 10 days from January 7, marks another step in the development of the digital yuan, which is light years ahead of other major nations.

Digital Yuan Trial Budget Doubles

The Chinese government issued the first digital yuan airdrop in October last year, which saw 50,000 recipients picked via the same lottery system and getting the same amount of money. Users can spend the money among participating retailers in the region, which has ballooned from 3,389 in October’s trial to over 10,000, although it is not known if this increase has been voluntary or mandated.

The new trial also doubles the amount being spent by the government compared to the last test, with the bill coming to 20 million yuan ($3 million) compared to half that in October.

Lessons Learnt From First Trial

The Chinese government will have learned some valuable lessons from the first trial, which didn’t go down all that well with users, who complained that the app wasn’t as user friendly as existing popular digital payment platform Alipay and WeChat pay. Indeed, the digital yuan app will suffer due to being what one user described as “quite late” to the party and is likely to offer incentives for users when it rolls out fully, which is likely to be this year.