WeChat began testing a new lucky money feature during the recent Chinese New Year holiday that enables transfers of gold bullion among users with the same mechanics for the existing cash hongbao (红包, lucky money or red envelopes in Chinese).

With the gold hongbao (not official translation), like the cash hongbao, a sender can either send packets to certain persons or let the system randomly divide a certain amount into certain parts and send it to a chat group for group members to try their luck.

Tencent Micro-Gold (not official translation), the online gold investment service jointly launched by Tenpay, the online payment arm of Tencent (WeChat’s parent), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the largest state-owned banks, in late January 2017, is so far the only supplier of gold for the new hongbao service.

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Tracey Xiang

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