Shenzhen, an economically emerging city in southern China, issued 10 million digital yuan (or approximately $1.47 million) in a pilot program aimed at promoting the new form of currency. In collaboration with the People's Bank of China, Shenzhen distributed the digital currency to its residents through a lottery of 50,000 "red envelopes," each worth 200 digital yuan. Recipients of the red envelopes were instructed to download an application to access the currency and use it in designated businesses in the city's Luohu District.
The initiation of the pilot program follows China's announcement in April 2020 that it will begin testing the digital currency in certain regions across the country.
The Bank of Japan reported that it will begin to "explore general purpose Central Bank Digital Currency in a more concrete and practical way by conducting experiments, rather than confining itself to conceptual research as before."