Chinese web users are increasingly adopting e-hongbao to send greetings during the Chinese New Year, with major Internet companies such as Alipay and Tencent posting sharp rises from the previous year.
Tencent said yesterday that over 516 million users of its popular social networking app WeChat send e-hongbaos, or digital red packets, from February 7 to Friday.
As many as 32.1 billion virtual red packets were sent or received by WeChat users over the six-day period, almost 10 times the 3.27 billion over the same period of last year.
Users can use their debit cards linked to WeChat to send virtual red envelopes either to a designated WeChat friend or to a group of people in a group chat.
The Alipay smartphone app saw more than 100 million consumers participating in the interactive sessions of CCTV's Spring Festival Gala on Chinese New Year's Eve.
As high as 64 percent of the participants were from third and fourth-tier cities as they quickly adopted digital means of sending lucky money as well as New Year's greetings.
Alipay said it gave out 800 million yuan ($122.5 million) of lucky money in collaboration with 45 sponsors.