27 October 2016
Distributing red packets online has become an increasingly fashionable trend during the Lunar New Year. Photo: HKEJ
Distributing red packets online has become an increasingly fashionable trend during the Lunar New Year. Photo: HKEJ

Red packets from Uncle Xi Jinping, anyone?

When it comes to lai see, you can always expect surprises.

Ever dreamed of getting a red packet from President Xi Jinping?

A WeChat account, “Communist Party members” (共產黨員), promises to give away red packets worth as much as 300,000 yuan (US$45,700) to those who can post phrases that the Chinese leader used for his New Year greetings.

According to Global Times, a tabloid under the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily, one could win lucky money by inputting the words “as long as we persevere, our dreams will come true” (只要堅持夢想總會實現) for the Thursday edition of the game. 

Everybody wins a red packet, but on a first come, first served basis. How much you get depends on your luck, which is determined by the computer program that is running the game.

The campaign, organized by affiliates of the Party’s Organization Department, will last three days until Saturday.

Frankly, I enjoy reading funny stories from this official party newspaper, which is known for its vociferous op-ed articles about things it finds to be politically incorrect such as Hong Kong independence.

To be absolutely politically correct and fair, the giveaways are distributed through Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet for users of Tencent’s WeChat so the two internet giants can both benefit from the party’s blessings.

Distributing red packets online – as against the traditional face-to-face giving – has become an increasingly fashionable trend during the Spring Festival after WeChat processed some one billion transactions last year.

Rival Alibaba will launch on Sunday its own mega red packet campaign on CCTV’s New Year Gala, the most watched television show for the festival.

This year, seven city governments – including Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan and Xi’an – are participating in the event as their way of interacting with the public, according to Guangzhou’s Nandu Daily.

Hong Kong users can join the mobile lai see party, too.

On Thursday WeChat Hong Kong launched a campaign that allows users to give out lai see through its online payment gateway.

The lai see money will be deducted from the user’s designated credit card with no handling charge.

There are more restrictions compared to the mainland version: maximum lai see payment is capped at HK$200, and a transaction takes no more than four days.

By the way, did anyone try to send a lai see with sensitive numbers such as HK$89.64 through the WeChat messenger?

Meanwhile, Bank of East Asia also launched its own “i lai see” service that allows registered participants to transfer no more than HK$1,500 to the recipients’ accounts.

Instant transfer is guaranteed if the recipient is also a client of the bank. Otherwise, there will be a delay of one to two days. No service charge.

The only catch is one has to use an iPhone to make a transaction.

Anyway, we wish you will receive lots and lots of lai see and blessings in the Year of the Money (Oops, we mean Monkey).

And, remember, it’s more fun, and you’ll get more blessings, if you give away lai see because it is always better to give than to receive.

Kung Hey Fat Choy!

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight writer

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