6. February 2023

•Meituan, a Chinese e-commerce giant, has announced a digital yuan giveaway to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year.
•The giveaway includes “red envelopes” containing 88.88 or 888 yuan, as well as discounts on Meituan’s Lunar New Year products.
•The PBoC is hoping to showcase the digital yuan to the world in 2023.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is continuing its drive to popularize its digital yuan, with the Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan announcing a special giveaway to mark the upcoming Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year is one of the biggest public holidays in China, and usually involves cash gifts being given in “lucky” red envelopes. To capitalize on this tradition, the PBoC updated its own app late last year to allow users to send virtual red envelopes containing digital yuan tokens to their family and friends.

Meituan is now building on this, with the company announcing that all of its users in the digital yuan pilot zone can receive a surprise gift box to mark the holidays. According to Shanghai Securities News, some of these virtual gift boxes will contain “red envelopes” containing 88.88 or 888 yuan, which are redeemable on Meituan and related sites. The number eight is considered extremely lucky in Chinese culture.

Even if users do not receive a red envelope, they will still be able to claim other gifts, such as a “hard” or “offline” digital yuan wallet or discounts on Meituan’s Lunar New Year products.

The Chinese New Year is falling on January 22 this year, and the PBoC is hoping that it will be able to showcase the digital yuan to the world in the Year of the Rabbit, 2023. In Chinese culture, rabbits are considered to be symbols of longevity, peace, and prosperity; characteristics that the PBoC is hoping to bring to its digital currency.

Though the PBoC has yet to announce a date for the digital yuan’s national rollout, the government is continuing to take steps to promote the currency, with Meituan’s giveaway the latest example. The giveaway is sure to be a hit with Chinese users, as it allows them to take part in the traditional gift-giving ritual, while also introducing them to the advantages of the digital yuan.

As the Lunar New Year approaches, the PBoC is hoping that the digital yuan will become an increasingly popular method of payment, both in China and abroad. With the continued launch of giveaways and other promotional activities, the government is confident that the digital yuan will become a major player in the global economy in the years to come.