‘Red envelopes’ challenge anti-graf campaign
“Red envelope” gifts via mobile devices, popular in China during festivals, have brought a new challenge in the fight against corruption.
Cheng Wenhao, director of the Anti-Corruption and Governance Research Center at Tsinghua University, said that passing money on the instant messaging tool WeChat “may be a disguised gift to someone close to officials who can help solve a problem for them”.
The gift, often called hongbao or “lucky money”, is a person-toperson transaction and seen as fun, “but it may become a breeding ground of corruption if we don’t pay attention”, Cheng said.
Cheng added: “Although the amount of a transaction on WeChat is not big, 200 yuan ($31) each at most, it is not a small number when it is accumulated.”