China’s internet companies are ramping up coupons

China’s internet companies Baidu

China’s internet companies are ramping up handouts of coupons, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cash, in the annual effort to buy customers on China’s grandest public holiday. In a week of feasting, reunions, and charity for the Lunar New Year, Chinese traditionally give gifts of cash — in fortuitous denominations of 8,6, and 1 — using red envelopes. In recent years China’s digital giants have adopted the custom as a way to interest people in their online payment systems, but they are now are using digital red envelopes to pay subsidies and discounts to users. Search engine Baidu said it would give away Rmb6 billion ($900 million) in coupons for services such as fast food delivery and video… Internet red envelopes began to replace the paper variety in around 2009 amid a push by ecommerce group Alibaba to get users for Alipay, its payments affiliate.

 

Charles Clover

Food4Brains

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