Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc said on Saturday that it had become the country's first virtual platform to accept Beijing's local digital currency.
JD Digits, the fintech arm of the company, will accept the digital yuan as payment for certain products at its online mall, as part of an experimental digital yuan donation to citizens of Suzhou, near Shanghai, according to a posted post. on the company's official WeChat account.
China's digital yuan is one of the most advanced "central bank digital currency" initiatives in the world, as authorities globally respond to threats from private currencies such as bitcoin and Facebook's Libra.
Under the Suzhou program, the municipal government and the People's Bank of China (PBOC) will issue 200 digital yuan "red envelopes" to 100,000 consumers selected by lottery.
Suzhou's program is the second such digital lottery, after the PBOC issued 10 million yuan of digital currency to 50,000 randomly selected consumers in the southern city of Shenzhen.
PBOC Governor Yi Gang said last month that more than 2 billion yuan has been spent so far using China's digital currency in 4 million separate transactions.