e-CNY App Allows Users To Send Digital Yuan-filled Red Packets

Key Points:

  • The most recent version to the e-CNY app enables users to send virtual hongbao, or red envelopes loaded with yuan, to one another.
  • Although the e-CNY app has been available for download for over a year, getting customers to use it still presents a challenge.
The South China Morning Post reported on December 26 that China’s wallet app e-CNY for its digital yuan central bank digital currency (CBDC) added a function allowing users to send money in an electronic rendition of traditional “red packets” in an effort to draw in new users.
e-CNY App Allows Users To Send Digital Yuan-filled Red Packets
Source: SCMP

The “red packets,” also known as “hongbao” in China, are customarily used for giving money as a sign of good fortune during Chinese New Year celebrations and other occasions. Popular local services like WeChat Pay and Alipay now offer virtual red envelopes as a result of the growing use of digital payments.

Approximately one month before the Chinese New Year on January 22, the new feature was made available over the weekend.

The e-CNY app reportedly allows a red packet to be given to only one recipient, or a “lucky draw” may be set up for a group of recipients who will each receive a random sum from a pool of money. WeChat Pay and Alipay both have features that are similar.

Users can select a packet cover that features a happy new year or birthday wishes. Users of e-CNY can select from 10 digital red packet covers that feature a variety of greetings, including “happy birthday,” “happy new year,” and “prosperous China.”

e-CNY App Allows Users To Send Digital Yuan-filled Red Packets

Although the general public has had access to the e-CNY app since January, the effort to persuade Chinese customers to embrace the nation’s digital currency is still uphill.

The most recent reported user base of the e-CNY wallets was in January 2022, with 261 million users have set up a digital wallet, despite the government’s quick expansion of the trials.

The People’s Bank of China has frequently insisted that the digital yuan is not meant to replace Alipay and WeChat Pay but rather “notes and coins.”

However, in the eyes of the general public, e-CNY and the payment features built into apps provided by internet companies and conventional banks are just another types of mobile payment.

e-CNY App Allows Users To Send Digital Yuan-filled Red Packets

Furthermore, the e-CNY app is only now accessible in about two dozen approved cities and areas, including Beijing and Shenzhen, as the digital currency is still in the experimental phase and has no scheduled date for a complete rollout.

In the most recent update, a brand-new feature allows users to select their profile avatar from various animated bunnies in honor of the upcoming Year of the Rabbit. Users must recruit three new people to join the app before they can modify their avatars.

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