Brickset reports that the new set, 40178 VIP, will be used as a promotional item later in the year. The LEGO Store Shanghai seem to have a head start on the rest of the world, with anyone spending 399 CNY getting the set for free.
The LEGO VIP scheme is free to join, and gains members points for every £1 they spend in LEGO Stores or at shop.LEGO.com. Accruing points leads to money to spend at official LEGO retail destinations, with occasional early launches and bonus promotions.
New VIP members currently get a free LEGO VIP keychain with an online sign-up.