Residents in Beijing recorded 9.6 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) worth of digital yuan transactions in 2021, after several rounds of coupon-driven promotions, according to state media, citing official data. 

Fast facts

  • China is aggressively promoting the use of digital yuan among the general public as part of pilot efforts to test out its use in various payment scenarios. 
  • Last year, at least US$53 million in digital yuan, officially known as e-CNY, were airdropped to users in about two dozen batches across a dozen cities, including those hosting the upcoming Winter Olympics.
  • In Beijing alone, four state-owned banks airdropped red packets to city residents in December.
  • Since 2014, China has been developing the digital yuan, the most advanced central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by a major world power.