Giving hongbao (red packets or red envelopes) during the Spring Festival is a famous tradition in China. Red envelopes are every child’s dream during the Chinese New Year, based on ancient legends of demons and fairies. When Chinese New Year is celebrated on Friday, millions of red envelopes with cash will be handed out among family, friends, and colleagues. But this year, there’s a new spin on this old tradition, with the gift-giving happening right on people’s smartphones.
On Tuesday, Wechat, the sensational Chinese social network and messaging app,released a new feature that lets its users to send hongbao electronically. The feature is called “新年红包” (New Year’s red envelopes).
In the new Wechat feature, the user can send “拼手气群红包”(group Hongbao option) and “普通红包” (ordinary hongbao). The feature contains three steps: first, fill in red envelope information, such as the number of envelopes you want to send, the amount of money in each envelope, and any greetings or well wishes. The next step is bank account information in order to actually put money on this “electronic hongbao”, from 0.50 yuan to 100 yuan.
After the transmission is completed, designated friends will receive their hongbao right after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The most interesting part of receiving a these red envelopes is if you choose a “拼手气群红包 “(group Hongbao option)” where friends will randomly receive different amounts of money in the red envelopes.
This little app has attracted many users, currently a Beta version, so of course some errors are to be expected. Therefore, the production team also provides a “suggested users” entry for your comments and queries.