HomeBitcoinChina's CBDC wallet relies on an age-old custom to increase adoption.

China’s CBDC wallet relies on an age-old custom to increase adoption.

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The digital yuan wallet app now includes a traditional Chinese method of donating money that has gone virtual with the rise of digital payments.
China’s wallet app for its digital yuan central bank digital currency (CBDC) offered a feature for users to send money in an electronic replica of traditional “red packets” to try to entice new users.

The new feature was unveiled over the weekend, roughly one month before the Chinese New Year on January 22, according to the South China Morning Post on December 26.

The “red packets,” known as hongbao in China, are typically used for gifting money during Chinese New Year and other events as a good luck gesture. With the increased use of digital payments, major local providers such as WeChat Pay and Alipay have begun to offer virtual red envelopes.

According to reports, the e-CNY app allows a single red packet to be sent to a single person, or a “lucky draw” allowing a group of people to get a random amount from a pool of funds; both WeChat Pay and Alipay have a similar feature.

Users can select a packet cover with well wishes for the new year, birthdays, or wishes for a “prosperous China.”

On Oct. 10, digital yuan transactions surpassed the $14 billion (100 billion yuan) mark, representing a 14% growth over the $12 billion (87.6 billion yuan) announced by the People’s Bank of China at the end of 2021.

According to a Dec. 18 story in the Chinese Workers’ Daily newspaper, the e-CNY trails will be expanded to Jinan, Nanning, Fangchenggang, and Kunming. The trials were earlier expanded in September to four provinces, including the most populated, Guangdong.

Despite the government’s quick extension of trials, the most recent announced user base of e-CNY wallets was in January 2022, with 261 million people having created a digital wallet.

China’s government appears to be forced to rely on WeChat Pay and Alipay to increase the acceptance of its digital yuan.

According to financial statistics, WeChat had 1.3 monthly active users in the September quarter, while Alipay had over 1 billion annual active users in the fiscal year ended Aug. 17, 2020.

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