Chinese New Year, Red Envelopes, Tencent & WeChat (infographics)

Infographic: Chinese New Year Will See Billions Of Digital Cash Gifts | Statista
source: Statista.com Feb 15, 2018

Over a billion people celebrated the Chinese New Year. Many prepared for the celebrations for days and a key aspect of the holiday involved people cleaning their homes, a tradition called "sweeping the dust" which symbolized the removal of misfortune and the welcoming of something new. When all of the cleaning was completed, homes were decorated with posters and red lanterns before revellers enjoyed spectacular fireworks and firecrackers. Technology played an increasingly important role in the world's biggest party with red envelopes or hóngbāo central to the festivities.

In China and other Southeast Asian societies, a red envelope is a monetary gift exchanged during holidays or special occasions. Over the past couple of the years, the tradition has gone digital with Tencent (domain: tencent.com) and Alibaba (domains: alibaba.com and alibabagroup.com) both offering virtual red envelopes. The digital version has caught on and last year, the number exchanged on Tencent's WeChat (domain: wechat.com) app was an impressive 46.6 billion = 33 envelopes full of cash for every person in China. That's a huge increase on 2016 when the red envelope count came to 8 billion.

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