China sees record digital red envelope exchange

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Beijing, Feb 14 (IANS) Chinese web company Tencent has seen a record 32.1 billion exchanges of digital red envelopes, or cash gifts, over the Lunar New Year festival, the media reported on Sunday.

Between February 7-12, the digital red envelopes were sent and received around 32.1 billion times via Tencent’s instant messaging app WeChat.

This is nearly 10 times the number recorded last year, EFE news reported.

Chinese people traditionally give the red envelopes or ‘Hongbao’ filled with money, as a gift to friends and family during the Lunar New Year.

But nowadays, millions of Chinese people — the majority of whom are from the younger generation – are using their smartphones to send small amounts of money through WeChat, the most popular social network in the country with over 650 million users.

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Tencent’s statistics show that 516 million people participated in exchanging the envelopes this year, with people born after 1990 sending nearly 2.6 billion of them — the largest number among all age groups.

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