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Over 100m people exchange mobile lucky money for Chinese New Year  

2015-02-25 22:07:07|  分类: 节日 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-25 

Over 100m people exchange mobile 'lucky money' for Chinese New Year

Over 100 million people sent gift money via mobile apps during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, according to Alipay, the payment system run by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. [Photo / IC]

HANGZHOU - Over 100 million people sent gift money via mobile apps during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, according to Alipay, the payment system run by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba.

The period from last Wednesday, or Lunar New Year Eve, to Saturday was the peak for gift money with a total of 4 billion yuan (about $652 million) paid via the e-payment platform, according to figures released by Alipay.

Giving "lucky money" in electronic form has become a trendy spin on the Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes, or "hongbao," filled with money to children on Lunar New Year Eve. The custom is more than 1,000 years old.

Alipay's figures suggested that, unlike the tradition of elders giving red envelopes to children, over half of those sending "e-hongbao" were people in their 20s from the cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou. They gifted money to relatives and friends in their mobile contact lists, according to Alipay.

Several Internet companies, including Tencent, Alibaba, Sina and Baidu, released red envelope features to grab a slice of the e-payment market for the holiday. Users must link their debit or credit cards to their accounts to send the gift money.

"Lucky money" payments worth one yuan were the most popular choice with over 19.5 million one-yuan e-hongbao given during the holiday. E-hongbao in 88-yuan denominations were also popular and 3.2 million were exchanged during this year's festivities.

Related story

Red envelopes help WeChat capture mobile payment use, by Meng Jing, China Daily

More than 3 billion red envelopes were sent and received online via WeChat, the most widely used mobile messaging application in China, during Spring Festival this year.

Statistics from WeChat, which is owned by Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, showed that 3.27 billion red envelopes had been sent and received by WeChat users between Feb 18 and Feb 23 with 1.01 billion of them being exchanged online within 24 hours on Feb 18.

At the peak time, which came in the first two minutes on Feb 19, as many as 1.65 million red envelopes were opened on WeChat every 60 seconds.

It seems that male WeChat users were more generous than their female counterparts. Out of all the WeChat users that gave online red envelopes, 52 percent were male while 53 percent of all the recipients were female.

Regionally speaking, People in South China's Guangdong province topped all other provinces in China in terms of the number of red envelopes given via WeChat. Guangdong is followed in order by Zhejiang province, Beijing city, Jiangsu province and Shanghai city.

The game of giving red envelopes online was invented by WeChat during the 2014 Spring Festival in order to gain new mobile payment users. Many Internet companies have followed suit and introduced their own red envelope services this year.

Alipay, China's largest online payment tool backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Tuesday that more than 100 million people in China got into its red envelope service during Spring Festival holiday, which ended yesterday.

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