Chinese banks issue millions of digital-currency vouchers to boost film consumption in Spring Festival holidays
Published: Feb 07, 2024 06:07 PM
People experience a barrier-free film made for visually impaired audiences in a cinema in Beijing. Photo: Courtesy of Wu Qian

People experience a barrier-free film made for visually impaired audiences in a cinema in Beijing. Photo: Courtesy of Wu Qian

China's film bureau and the country's monetary authorities have announced plans to hand out movie coupons worth 30 million yuan ($4.17million) in digital yuan for consumption during the upcoming Spring Festival holidays.

A total of 11 banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Agricultural Bank and Bank of China, will join the distribution of consumption vouchers in the film market, and the move is expected to help increase the box office by stimulating consumer spending on movie tickets, the bureau said during a promotional event held in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province.  

The promotional event initiated just three days before the Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve which falls on February 9, aiming to offer favorable discounts to moviegoers and help create a hot consumption atmosphere. 

The distribution of digital-currency coupons nationwide will not only benefit the citizens but also boost domestic consumption during the Spring Festival holidays, Pan Helin, joint director of the Research Center for Digital Economics and Financial Innovation, affiliated with Zhejiang University's International Business School, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

During the event, the local bureau also said that more than one million yuan of digital currency will be distributed to moviegoers in Suzhou, who will be only required to pay 1.88 yuan to obtain a movie coupon worth 25 yuan. 

The giveaways will be mainly distributed through scooping special discounts, coupons and virtual red envelopes, or "hongbao," a traditional Chinese practice of gifting money.

"The efforts show that the digital yuan is increasingly recognized and welcomed by the public and starts to be generally accessible to common households, which also brings more opportunities for market players," Pan said.

In addition, the Cultural and Tourism Ministry on Tuesday also said that it will issue consumption coupons worth over 600 million yuan, which can be used in scenarios such as entertainment, catering and accommodation for Chinese citizens during the Spring Festival holidays.

Expert said such preferential policies will further boost holiday consumption and drive up the country's economic growth.