Electronic Hong Bao, a new Spring Fest tradition with big competition in China

Global Business

Hong Bao, the practice of handing out red envelopes with money in them during Chinese New Year is a popular tradition in China. Recently the tradition has gone digital with hong bao being handed out over mobile phones and one company really moving ahead of the pack with the revamped tradition.
Hu Xiaoceng filed this report

Electronic Hong Bao, a new Spring Fest tradition with big competition in China

Electronic Hong Bao, a new Spring Fest tradition with big competition in China

The spread of the Internet is changing the way people celebrate China's Spring Festival. Giving red envelopes filled with money to children on the Spring Festival is a long tradition, but this year the old custom turned into a battleground for China's new internet giants and one of them won big time. Hu Xiaoceng has more.

Highlights:

  • Most of the electronic Hong Bao envelopes came via two of China’s Internet giants: Wechat, a messaging app run by Tencent and Alipay, a payment system backed by Alibaba.
  • On Chinese New Year’s eve alone more than one billion red envelopes were sent on Wechat, three times more than on Alipay.
  • During the entire holiday Wechat put out 3.2 billion red envelopes.
  • Both Alipay and Wechat used the Spring Festival to try to expand their e-payment market