Over the last few years, China’s tech giants introduced hongbao sending features to entice users to use their e-payment services: Alibaba with Alipay, TenCent with WeChat payment & Sina with Weibo payment.
In January, Alipay enabled users to easily send red envelops to WeChat contacts, capitalizing on their biggest competitor’s network. Countering this, WeChat blocked sharing from Alibaba’s apps. This turned the hongbao competition into a war. WeChat came out as the undisputed winner with 1 billion sent hongbaos, while Alipay and Weibo only reached 240 million and 101 million respectively.