After the stunning success of hongbao (红包 or “lucky money” in English) and the more recent gold gifting, WeChat has partnered with Starbucks to offer coffee gifting.

Found in the WeChat Wallet, you can purchase Starbucks-branded gift cards either for a single drink or with money pre-loaded on the card. After purchasing, you will be taken to a sharing screen where you can choose who to send to. Once accepted, the gift card will appear in “Cards & Offers” menu where it can then be presented at the coffee shop.

As with much of WeChat, this has come with little fanfare. They have even gone out of their way to show clearly that this is a limited campaign with the buttons labeled “For a limited time only” (限时推广 in Chinese). However, there is no mention of when the campaign will finish. This is presumably done as a way to induce people to use the feature soon; indeed this was launched just ahead of Valentine’s Day and even features Valentine’s Day themed gift cards. This could also be a way to address any concerns from Chinese netizens who may question why WeChat is partnering with Starbucks and not with a local partner.

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John Artman

John Artman is the Editor in Chief for TechNode, the leading English information source for news and insight into China’s tech and startups, and co-host of the China Tech Talk podcast, a regular discussion...