WeChat sees record high of Spring Festival red packets

Xinhua News Agency


WeChat, China's major instant messaging app, said Saturday that some 14.2 billion red packets (known as "hongbao" in Chinese) were given and received on WeChat on Friday alone, the eve of Spring Festival.

This is 75.7 percent higher than last year, according to WeChat, which is operated by Tencent.

Some 340 million users, also a record high, shared red packets on QQ, another social media platform under Tencent.

New forms of red packets such as "face-to-face and AR red packets" were adopted. Lin Yuwen, a Beijing resident, said he distributed red packets totaling 1,200 yuan (175 U.S. dollars) on Friday, almost double the amount last year.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, which this year is the Year of the Rooster, fell on Saturday.

It is common for Chinese to distribute "hongbao," traditionally money in red envelopes, among friends and relatives during Spring Festival.

Analysts say the electronic red packets are used by Internet giants to expand their shares in the mobile payment market.