Bytedance increased the total value of red packets offered on three of its apps to RMB 1.6 billion (almost $237 million) this recent Chinese New Year, up from RMB 1 billion last year, to become the biggest player in the Chinese hongbao battle in terms of prize money offered, according to a report from Jiemian.

The RMB 1.6 billion was distributed between content aggregator Jinri Toutiao, short video app Douyin, and social networking app Duoshan. The three apps received RMB 1 billion, RMB 500 million, and RMB 100 million respectively, according to the Jiemian report. They used the money for different Spring Festival promotional activities: users either collect tokens to qualify for a prize money raffle in the form of hongbao issued by the platform or are directly rewarded for participation.

Douyin’s event probably drew inspiration from its Ant Financial-owned Alipay equivalent, which has been held every Spring Festival since 2016. While Alipay’s event asks users for tokens that can be obtained by paying with the app, event tokens in Douyin can be acquired by inviting friends to the app or installing Duoshan.

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Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com