China’s mobile payment market saw a 140% year-over-year growth in transaction volume in the first quarter of 2015, excluding the traditional services of Chinese banks and China UnionPay.

According to a report by market research firm iResearch, the early-year boost was thanks to “lucky money” fever during the 2015 Chinese New Year holidays in February, a feature where real money transfers are gamified, building on the Chinese new year tradition of lucky money.

Under the feature, a user can add a red envelope, or ‘hongbao’ to their chat, contributing an amount of real RMB. Friends can then select the envelope, and a random algorithm determines how big of a share each recipient takes.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Tracey Xiang

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