The Chinese city of Xiong’an, a prototype so-called smart city, has launched a new round of digital yuan giveaways.

Fast facts

  • Unlike previous giveaways, which have been based on a lottery system, authorities are handing out 3 million yuan in e-CNY based on the number of steps people walk in a bid to encourage fitness.
  • Xiong’an inhabitants will be able to earn e-CNY for every 20,000 steps tracked by an app named Xiong’an Xing, up to a limit of 50 digital yuan per redemption, according to an announcement on the official Weibo account of the Xiong’an government. 
  • Each citizen will have four opportunities to exchange their steps for e-CNY to gain up to 200 digital yuan.
  • Individuals will be able to spend their e-CNY at more than 1,000 stores in Xiong’an, according to the Weibo post. 
  • Xiong’an, about 60 miles from Beijing, is a testbed for e-CNY, which is often still referred to by its project name, digital currency electronic payment (DCEP). Xiong’an has held several small-scale tests of digital yuan in the past, including using it to pay the salaries of some construction workers. The latest giveaway is the biggest e-CNY test in Xiong’an to date.