WeChat users send 14.2 billion virtual red envelopes over Chinese New Year

Chinese WeChat users exchanged 14.2 billion virtual red envelopes over 2017 Spring Festival

Chinese WeChat users exchanged 14.2 billion virtual red envelopes on WeChat over Chinese New Year, according to the latest figures from technology giant Tencent.

The figures reveal a year-on-year increase of more than 75% for the digital hongbao up from 8 billion envelopes in 2016.

The increase reveals the ongoing popularity of the virtual red envelope feature which WeChat first launched in 2014.

Ahead of the 2017 Spring Festival, WeChat owner Tencent released an AR game to encourage users to send virtual red envelopes through its instant messaging app QQ.

Tencent rival Alibaba also promoted the Alipay payment app with its own location based AR game, which was inspired by Pokemon Go.

WeChat users also made 2.1 billion minutes worth of free calls via the platform during the 2017 Spring Festival holiday. This was five times more than in 2016.

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