688 million people used WeChat hongbao on February 15 (Chinese New Year’s Eve) with Chengdu, Chongqing, and Beijing with the fastest hands according to WeChat’s New Year’s Eve big data, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting. 15% more people used WeChat hongbao in 2018 compared to the year previous

In China’s new year, elders give the money to children hoping to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings, and the younger generation give the money to their elders as a blessing of longevity and a show of gratitude. In a country where 95% of its internet users mobile device to access the internet, more and more people send their red envelopes to their relatives and friends through WeChat, making into a game of who can open them the fastest.

The stroke of midnight rang in the Lunar New Year. At the same time, a shower of red envelopes filled mobile screens across every part of China. New Year’s Eve  (除夕 chuxi), the day before Spring Festival (春节 chunjie), is the peak time to grab red envelope  (红包 hongbao). It’s like saying farewell to chicken’s year, and greeting dog’s year. There are even tactics to grab hongbao depending on which phone you use. 

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com