The game that got millions hooked on mobile payment

Feb 06, 2019

This is the virtual money gifting game that got millions to sign up for WeChat’s mobile payment platform a few years ago.

Fast forward a few years and this game is still huge—768 million people sent and received virtual red envelopes last Chinese New Year.

But there’s more to it. These millions of users started using WeChat Pay in their everyday lives.

Its parent company, Tencent, now goes head-to-head with Alibaba in carving up the mobile payment market, and transforming China into a cashless country.


Fast Company: How WeChat Became China’s App For Everything, by Eveline Chao

Forbes: Red Envelope War: How Alibaba and Tencent Fight Over Chinese New Year, by Liyan Chen

Xinhua: 微信数据:春节收到红包数量最多者达3429个, by 郑小红


* This video mentions Alipay and Alibaba. Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post, which incubates Goldthread.

Mobile paymentsTencentWeChatChinese New Year


Directed, written and voiced by: Venus Wu

Produced and shot by: Venus Wu and Ray Ngan

Props created by: Venus Wu

Animated by: Ray Ngan

Edited by: Nicholas Ko

Mastered by: Victor Peña

Special thanks to: Joel Roche