Shenzhen gives away $3 million worth-of digital yuan in third CBDC test

The Chinese city of Shenzhen is giving away another 20 million digital yuan, worth $3 million, as part of the ongoing real-life test of China's central bank digital currency.

The Shenzhen government announced on the New Year's Eve that it will give away 100,000 red packets via a lottery to local residents with each packet worth 200 digital yuan, or $30.

Lottery-winners will be able to spend the digital yuan between January 7 and January 17 among over 10,000 shops, restaurants and supermarkets in Shenzhen, according to the announcement.

In last October, Shenzhen conducted China's first city-wide digital yuan test via a lottery giveaway that was worth $1.5 million in total available for 50,000 residents, who were able to spend the free money at some 3,000 local stores.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

In December, the city of Suzhou doubled down on the efforts to test China's digital yuan, which was in a much larger scale in multiple aspects, as The Block reported.

The Suzhou test ended on December 27. The Suzhou government said in a WeChat post a week ago that 96,614 lottery winners collected their digital yuan and spent almost all of the $3 million free money.

According to the post, 55% of the digital yuan consumption came through offline stores while the rest was transacted via Chinese e-commerce platform In addition, 536 people tested the offline touch-to-pay feature. 

However, the latest Shenzhen test will not enable some of the features that were supported in the Suzhou test, such as the online payment option and the offline touch-to-pay function.

According to a report from Beijing Business Today on January 3, the Suzhou test discovered some technical bugs and loopholes for the offline touch-to-pay function, which was why the new Shenzhen test has not yet adopted the technology. 

About Author

Wolfie joined The Block’s news team in 2020 and switched to the research side in 2021 to focus on crypto mining analysis. Prior to The Block, he had been a journalist at CoinDesk for three years. Wolfie has a background in financial journalism.