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Chinese Internet Companies to Give Away Nearly 15 Billion Yuan in New Year Red Envelopes

By Liu Shuangshuang, Yuan Ruiyang, Qian Tong and Mo Yein / Jan 22, 2020 03:44 PM / Business & Tech

图/IC photo

图/IC photo

The Chinese New Year has long been a battlefield for internet based companies to try and lure customers away from their rivals’ services using different promotions, including through direct cash payments.

According to Caixin’s calculations, this year, companies have pledged to give away nearly 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion), mainly in the form of digital “hongbao”. Hongbao are traditional "red envelopes" containing money exchanged between friends and relatives. Digital versions, akin to wire transfers have developed in the era of smartphone apps.

Many companies began to offer digital hongbao long before the start of the week-long holiday, also known as Spring Festival, which kicks off Friday.

Among the largest spenders are Tencent, which said it would spend 1 billion yuan to promote its short-video service, called Weishi, seen as a challenge to ByteDance’s plethora of short-video platforms, including Douyin, also known as Tik Tok. ByteDance said it would hand out 2 billion yuan in digital hongbao.

Read the full story at Caixin Global later today

Contact reporter Mo Yelin (yelinmo@caixin.com)

Related: China’s Internet Giants Hand Out Billions of Yuan in Digital Red Envelopes

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