(Photo: People's Daily Overseas Edition)
The Spring Festival, China's most important yearly celebration, is fast approaching, and mobile payment companies have once again ignited the online battle of virtual red envelopes.
With a multitude of red envelope games on offer, the amount of money being transferred among users is snowballing.
Alibaba’s subsidiary, Alipay, re-released its “fortune cards collection” game that has been successful in previous years. Participants can share a 500 million yuan red envelope if they collect all the fortune cards needed.
During the last Spring Festival season, 70 million middle-aged adults and seniors took part in the game.
Tech giant Baidu, with the help of China Central Television, will also send red envelopes worth a total of 1 billion yuan.
WeChat Pay, Alipay's rival, kept it low key this year. The app debuted a new function that enables enterprises to customize virtual red envelope covers on WeChat Work, a professional office management platform under the WeChat umbrella.
Microblogging site Sina Weibo also joined in on the festivities. In addition to million-yuan cash prizes, it also prepared various gifts for users, hoping to gain more internet traffic, and therefore customers, through activities during the Spring Festival.
WeChat Pay was the first to launch virtual red envelopes in 2014, followed by Alipay and Weibo. So far, grabbing these virtual red envelopes has already become a social activity synonymous with the Spring Festival season.
Thanks to the popularity of virtual red envelopes, the mobile payment market has witnessed growing prosperity. Statistics indicate that total mobile payment transactions reached 65.5 trillion yuan in the third quarter of 2018.
An expert noted that this success had inspired online payment platforms to combine online and offline activities. Online promotion attracts internet traffic and attention that works as a form of advertising, the expert noted.
In today’s world, mobile payment is not only changing people’s payment methods and lifestyles, but also shifting customs.
Virtual red envelope games have created a new way of communication among friends and can enhance exchanges between family members, providing a new custom to the traditional festival.