The Shenzhen test acted as both a stress test and a marketing initiative. The City government gave away $1.5 million to 50,000 randomly selected citizens, who each received 200 yuan—about $30—usable at any of the 4,000 merchants who accept the digital yuan. The Suzhou test will include important new features that did not factor into the Shenzhen trials, most notably the ability to pay while offline.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said in an April 17 release that its prototype, central bank-issued digital yuan is being put through its paces in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Xiong’an, which lies about 60 miles from Beijing. It will also be tested at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.