Biz / Tech

Social giants ramp up red packet festival campaigns

Both Alipay and Tencent's social networking tool QQ have launched new year virtual red package campaigns ahead of the Chinese New Year to drive user growth.

Both Alipay and Tencent’s social networking tool QQ have launched new year virtual red packet campaigns ahead of Chinese New Year as Internet companies try new means to make users adopt their services through more channels.

Using augmented reality technology, Alipay users can collect “luck” signs using the camera on their smartphones. The highest cash reward for one individual user will be 666 yuan (US$104).

Alipay said it’s launching a campaign with 500 million yuan worth of cash rewards over a 10-day online campaign that seeks to drive user activity as both payment services and social chatting platforms face strong competition ahead of the Lunar New Year, a peak period for friends and family members to send regards or wishes to each other.

Tencent’s chatting and social platform QQ said it would launch a four-day campaign starting on New Year’s Eve — users can take part in a lucky draw with a total amount of 200 million yuan of rewards.

Tencent vice president Yin Yu said the company encourages QQ users to share their daily walking distances through the social network and to enter a lucky draw to win a random amount of cash rewards or coupons.

Last year, as many as 167 million Alipay users collected the five “virtual lucky signs” needed to enter a lucky draw on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Product manager Guan Hua said it hasn’t linked this year’s lucky draw activity with any business performance through the Alipay platform and that it’s hard to predict how users will respond as the lucky sign activity enters its third year.

It’s also working with a dozen merchants to offer digital discount coupons, however Alipay hasn't revealed the total amount of coupons to be distributed to its users.

Alibaba’s retail platform Taobao is also working with China Central Television Station’s New Year’s Eve Gala to offer 1 billion yuan worth of cash or digital coupons over a five-day period.

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