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China's 'red packets' go digital over Lunar New Year

AFP  |  Shanghai 

More than 820 million electronic "red packets" were sent over China's Lunar New Year holiday, leading platform said, as the centuries-old practice of exchanging monetary gifts increasingly goes digital.

WeChat, which is owned by Chinese Tencent, said the tally was reached over a six-day span during last week's national holiday, and marked a seven per cent rise over the same period in 2018.

Money inserted or wrapped into paper "red packets", or hongbao in Mandarin, are traditionally given out as a blessing during the holiday, a time when revellers exchange wishes for good prosperity in the year ahead.

But has rapidly embraced a cashless society in which payments are made via apps, and electronic "red packets" have become hugely popular.

said more than 450 million users had participated between January 25 and February 4 in a game offered on its payment platform in which users can collect five non-monetary "blessings".

said that was a 40 per cent increase in users over last year.

Those who collect all five blessings can redeem them for various amounts of money.

And said it gave digital "red packets" worth 900 million yuan (USD 133.5 million) on February 4 during CCTV's roughly four-hour Lunar New Year gala, a popular annual televised celebration.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 17:30 IST