Want China Times: Internet Payment Portals Lure Chinese Customers With Red Envelopes

2Chinable: Red Envelopes with money inside, hongbao红包 in Chinese, is a Chinese new year (Spring Festival) tradition in China. The children,elder people and young people who are not married will get hongbao in the new year from the family members or relatives or friends. But the tradition is different in different area in China. In some areas, all people give hongbao to each other. If you send a parcel to Chinese customer, you can try a hongbao with small amount of paper currency of your country or a special gift inside, that would surprise and please Chinese customers.


The internet’s red envelope battle has officially commenced, with the first shot fired by Alipay Wallet, reports the state-run China News Service.

Alipay, WeChat and Sina Weibo have offered red envelopes exceeding a combined 14 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion) to their customers, said the report. The most common prize is 100 yuan (US$16).

The envelopes are geared at getting customers’ hands to the touch screen for mobile shopping and payment this Chinese New Year holiday, said Shan Ren, network sales director of the China E-Commerce Association. This year, new entrants in the form of start-up internet enterprises and once brick-and-mortar shops are using the envelopes to expand their client base, Shan said.

On Feb. 11, Alipay Wallet issued 57 million yuan (US$9.1 million) in cash red envelopes. Alipay Wallet users must win a game before getting an red envelope, with each prize for 1 or 5 yuan (US$0.16-$0.80) in cash or shopping certificates.

The grand finale will come on Lunar New Year’s Eve (Feb. 18), Shan said. WeChat reportedly will convene more than 10 major advertisers, each providing red envelopes of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million). The advertisers will be issuing red envelopes to their clients across the nation through WeChat’s shake function.

Opening a red envelope could leave a customer exposed to viruses that can steal their bank account information, said network security expert Li Tiejun. Li recommends avoiding the installation of any unrecognized software and caution before entering personal information.

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