China is planning to hold a second trial lottery of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to local media reports. It is speculated that the trial lottery is planned for Suzhou on December 12, 2020. Suzhou was the location of one of the earliest trials of the CBDC for transport subsidies targeting workers at four state-owned banks.
If approved, the trial is expected to be similar to one held in Shenzhen earlier in October. The previous trial allowed Chinese citizens to apply for a 200 yuan share of 10 million units of the CBDC in a lottery which was worth around $1.5 million.
Earlier this year, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that it will launch digital currency pilot programmes in three major regions in the country which are the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta, and the Greater Bay Area. The CBDC programmes are set to be launched in some major cities in China such as Beijing, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Macau.
Earlier this year, The People’s Bank of Chinas said that it will increase research and development when it comes to the digital yuan. The topic was discussed during the 2020 national telecom conference organised by the central bank.
To counter China, Japan is also working extensively on its own CBDC. Japan recently announced that 30 Japanese firms will carry out a pilot testing of the digital yen. The project is expected to kick off in 2021. The 30 Japanese firms include telcos, utility companies, retail firms, stock exchange brokerage firms and Japan’s three largest banks.