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Chinese New Year is upon us and Tencent's social media platform WeChat has found a way to turn traditional seasonal practices digital.
Billions of online money transfers have taken place in China as the ancient Lunar New Year tradition of handing out red envelopes of cash met the Internet age.
As China gears up for Lunar New Year, when hundreds of millions of people head home, popular software charging extra to improve the odds of getting coveted rail tickets has been criticised.
The Chinese tradition of giving gifts of money in red envelopes at Lunar New Year has turned into big business for Web giants Alibaba and Tencent, which now both offer electronic hong bao.
Users of WeChat sent around 46 billion electronic red packets digital versions of traditional envelopes stuffed with cash - via the Chinese mobile social platform over the Lunar New Year period.
More than 820 million electronic “red packets” were sent over China’s Lunar New Year holiday, leading social media platform WeChat said, as the centuries-old practice of exchanging monetary gifts increasingly goes digital.
As millions in China head home to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday with their families, 24-year-old Luoluo is busy answering messages on a mobile app from desperate men looking to hire an instant girlfriend.