ChinaThe Shenzhen government randomly donates more than 10 million yuan to people in a digital currency pilot program.
Nearly two million people in Shenzhen signed up for the chance to become one of the 50,000 randomly chosen people to receive a 200 yuan ($ 30) “red bag” on October 11.
Program participants must download the currently unpublished Renminbi app on their smartphones to receive the virtual currency and spend next week. The virtual money can be spent at 3,800 stores designated by the government in La Ho district.
The Internet office of the Shenzhen government said this is the latest digital currency pilot program aimed at stimulating consumer spending to support the economic recovery after Covid-19.
In April, a number of cities, including Shenzhen, began experimenting with digital currencies into local monetary systems such as paying civil servants’ salaries. The currency, backed by the People’s Bank of China, is part of the government’s plan to stimulate non-cash consumption, with digital currencies easier to monitor than paper money.
Electronic payments in China are very popular and become an essential part of the consumer economy, mainly through the application of major technology firms like TenCent or AliPay.
During today’s financial conference, Fan Yiffi, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said barcode scanners and facial recognition technology are also viable transaction methods. Fan said that the pilot programs to date have processed 1,313 million transactions worth more than 1.1 billion yuan ($ 162 million).
Shenzhen’s digital money distribution program comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit on October 14 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the special economic zone. Mr. Xi plans to announce plans to turn the tech city into a “piloting area of Chinese socialism”.
Last year, Chinese media reported a plan to turn Shenzhen into “one of the world’s leading cities in terms of economic strength and development quality” by 2025.
Hong Hanh (Follow Guardian)