Alibaba yesterday morning announced it would give away RMB600 million (around US$97m) of “lucky money”, with RMB156 million in cash and RMB430 million of e-coupons from merchants on its marketplaces, to users from today until February 19, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Although Alibaba’s online payments service Alipay added a ‘lucky money’ giving feature several years ago, the new ways of distributing lucky money on WeChat a year ago was an immediate hit among users and a popular marketing approach for businesses.

Two weeks ago Alibaba released the latest version of the mobile app Alipay Wallet, challenging WeChat with a revamped lucky money giving feature.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com