The city of Shaoxing in China is gearing up for an Asian Games-themed digital yuan giveaway, aligning with the nation’s preparations for a significant central bank digital currency (CBDC) showcase. As part of the event named “Welcome to the Asian Games,” Shaoxing will distribute approximately $5.6 million worth of digital yuan tokens to its residents.
According to reports by China News Network, various local establishments in Shaoxing, such as supermarkets, hospitals, and transport providers, have already introduced digital yuan payment capabilities. The use of digital yuan payment codes, in the form of the digital yuan app’s QR codes, has become a preferred payment option for many locals.
Hosted in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, the Asian Games were initially scheduled for September of the previous year but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shaoxing will be a key venue for five Asian Games events, including baseball, softball, and volleyball.
In anticipation of the upcoming event, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has upgraded its official digital yuan app, allowing users to pay with the CBDC on the Hangzhou Metro. Shaoxing’s own metro system has also been upgraded to accept the digital yuan, while rail links connecting the two cities now welcome passengers using the CBDC for payments.
The PBoC aims to further drive adoption in the province before the games commence on September 22. The CBDC giveaway event is organized by the Shaoxing Municipal Bureau of Finance, with the tokens to be distributed through a games-themed lucky draw. “Winning” residents will receive around $14 worth of the CBDC. To qualify for participation, individuals must have digital yuan wallets and be registered residents of Shaoxing.
This move follows recent announcements by the China Merchants Bank, which is co-launching a CBDC platform with the Civil Aviation Administration Clearing Center. This platform will enable businesses to use the digital yuan for paying for business air tickets.
As China continues to promote its digital yuan and explores various use cases, the Asian Games provide a significant platform to showcase the capabilities and potential of the CBDC. With the upcoming giveaway and increasing adoption in Shaoxing and Hangzhou, the nation is taking significant strides towards a digital future powered by its central bank digital currency.