Editor’s note: This was written by Federico Sferrazza, digital marketing manager at Daxue Consulting, a market research company based in China. 

Though losing again this year, Alipay is still a contender to become the final winner in this year’s hongbao war, thanks to its sophisticated innovation ability.

A hongbao, or red packet, is a traditional Chinese gift delivering good wishes and greetings sent by Chinese during the Chinese New Year. Ever since 2014, the date when it was first launched by Tencent’s WeChat messaging app during the Chinese New Year holiday, the digital hongbao has entered a competitive market where the two titans, Alibaba and Tencent, combat with each other. For 2017’s New Year, Alibaba-run Alipay and Tencent-run QQ still face a fierce battle with huge investment, while Tencent-run WeChat did not join the competition, but still maintained its hongbao sending/receiving tradition. However, according to the data, Alipay, once again, seemed to lose this battle. Is a continued losing streak deemed to be the fate of Alipay in the future?

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