‘Red en­velopes’ chal­lenge anti-graf cam­paign

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

“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.”

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