Chinese banks celebrate New Year with free cash for clients

chinese new year

China’s financial services are preparing to give away billions of yuan to customers through a “red letter day” promotion that will issue small amounts of cash or gold to customers at random.

The country’s conventional banking sector is battling it out with the e-commerce industry, which already has a head start on the project, by launching a rival version of the popular “red letter” marketing drive.

Ahead of Chinese New Year, online payment and social media platforms Alipay, WeChat, Sina Weibo and Mobile QQ are randomly distributing red letters to users that contain amounts of money ranging from a few yuan to billions. WeChat kicked off the trend last year to promote its mobile payment platform.

Now, banks such as Ping An, Hua Xia and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank are all launching their own version, with red letters issued to high-level mobile banking clients containing amounts from five yuan to 1,000 yuan.

Interestingly, Pudong plans to issue 10 million of the red envelopes via Alipay.

Other banks have chosen a more traditional route, with some, such as China Minsheng bank, giving away free gold to customers via a separate lottery.