TENCENT REPORTS SPIKE IN FESTIVAL MESSAGES
Instead of setting off fireworks, more people have chosen to celebrate Spring Festival this year by sending greetings online and by phone.
Internet giant Tencent has released figures showing a sharp increase in messages sent through its smartphone chat application WeChat on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
The number of messages sent was double that for Lunar New Year’s Eve last year, with 10 million sent during a one-minute period at the peak period.
Users were also using their mobile phones to send electronic versions of — traditional red envelopes containing cash gifts given during the holiday. People who receive the “e- messages can cash the money by linking their debit cards to WeChat.
The company said more than 5 million users received e- between the Lunar New Year’s Eve and 4 pm the next day, making a total of around 20 million e-
Postcard and calendar sales have decreased sharply this year, following a national circular issued in late October banning the purchasing, printing, mailing and giving of postcards and calendars as New Year gifts with public money.