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How to Send Red Envelop via Wechat & Alipay

In modern China, Wechat and Alipay are both popular used in daily life. Wechat is a social app quite widely used in China, sort of Chinese Facebook, yet it also has multiple functions like top-up phones, pay credit card bills, rent e-bikes and sending red envelops which are all frequently used. Alipay is another payer app especially in paying; you can almost pay anything with it, new TV set in fancy mall, or two potatoes at the street vegetable vender near your community.

Giving red envelopes (lucky money) is a tradition during Chinese New Year and sending red packets to your Chinese friends has become a popular way of wishing Happy New Year in China nowadays!

Don’t know how much to send? Numbers like 18, 28, 58, 68, 168 and 188 are all good numbers when you are sending red envelopes. As a foreigner in China, how much exactly to put in the red packet is not restrictively ruled. It depends on how close they are to you, normally it varies from 20- 200. Learn about Chinese gift ideas and gift giving etiquettes.

How to set up Wechat Wallet?

Step 1: Find your Wallet

Go to your profile and click “Wallet”. If you can’t find the Wallet, make sure you are using the latest version of Wechat.

Wechat red packet

Step 2: Select the “cards” function to add a card

Wechat red packet  Wechat red packet

Step 3: Enter your Chinese bank number & cell phone number info (Unionpay)

Both debit card and credit card (as long as they are Unionpay cards) are accepted by Wechat, just debit cards are more widely accepted in actual paying process.

Not all banks support passport as an ID. Banks support passports as an ID are listed as below:

  • China Construction Bank 中国建设银行
  • Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) 中国农业银行
  • Bank of Communications 交通银行
  • China Merchants Bank 中国招商银行
  • Industrial Bank (Xingye) 兴业银行
  • Huaxia Bank 华夏银行
  • China Everbright Bank (Guangda) 光大银行

Wechat red packet  Wechat red packet

Step 4: Enter your verification code

The cellphone number you just entered in has to be a currently used one as you will receive a text message with a code which you shall enter it in the dedicated cell.

Wechat red packet

Step 5: Set a password and pin code for your card in Wechat

You could open a special account for linking to Wechat Wallet or Alipay as abusive transactions sometimes have been reported.  With your Wecat is linked to your bank card,  you can easily top-up wallet or withraw money from it. The transactions normally will cost less than 2 hours according to my experience.

  Wechat red packet

How to send red envelop via Wechat?

Step1:  Start a common chat with the firend you plan to send the red packet

Click the “+” button at the lower right corner.

wechat red packet

Step2: Select the red packet function at the lower left corner
wechat red packet


Step 3: Enter the amount of money you wish to send and a few good words.

Learn more about Chinese New Year Greeting and Good Wishes >>
wechat redpacket

Step 6: Enter password and send

When your friend receives your red packet message it should be like as it shows in the picture below. After they click “open ”, the money will transfer from your Wechat wallet to his or hers within a click.

No transaction fee will be charged by Wechat if your annual transaction amount via Wechat is less than 1000 CNY.

Each red envelope via Wechat shall be less than 200 CNY. Any amount beyond this should go for transfer function.

wechat red packet  wechat red packet

How to send red envelop via Alipay?

Step 1: Install an Alipay app in your cell phone and connect your bank card to Alipay

The detailed steps are similar to that in Wechat as we have listed above.

Step 2: Go to your profile and select “friends” function.

alipay red packet

Step 3:  Click “send message “ to your friend

alipay red packet

Step 4: Click the “+” button at the lower right corner and then select the red packet function at the lower left corner.
alipay red envelop

Step 5: Enter the amount of money you wish to send and a few chinese new year greetings,enter password and send.

alipay red packet