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China’s Tencent celebrates Year of Horse with mobile gifts

29
Jan
2014

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – More than a billion Chinese people will celebrate the Year of the Horse on Friday and for many that means giving or receiving traditional gifts of cash-filled red envelopes called hongbao. Chinas Tencent Holdings Ltd is putting a twist on the practice with the launch last Sunday of a digital version of hongbao on WeChat, its smartphone messaging, mobile payment and gaming platform that has taken China by storm. The release of the hongbao feature triggered a surge in Tencents WeChat Payment users to 100 million from 30 million last month, according to a note written on Wednesday by Standard Chartered technology analyst Wendy Huang. WeChat Payment user numbers could reach 200 million by the end of 2014, Huang wrote, which would see Tencent move ahead of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its Alipay online payment affiliate.

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