ByteDance’s Douyin Becomes Exclusive Red Envelope Interactive Partner of 2021 Spring Festival Gala

On the evening of Jan. 26, Zhang Nan, CEO of ByteDance China, issued an internal letter to the staff, announcing that its affiliate short video sharing platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, will be the exclusive red envelope interactive partner of the 2021 Spring Festival Gala.

On Lunar New Year’s eve, Douyin will allocate 1.2 billion yuan in the form of red envelopes, which are monetary gifts representing good luck in traditional Chinese culture, to viewers during the live-streamed show. And viewers can get red envelopes if they type in the code revealed by the hosts.

Produced by China Media Group (CMG) and aired on the Central China Television (CCTV), the annual extravaganza is a new year tradition for Chinese families to watch on Lunar New Year’s eve since 1983.

Besides the red envelopes, Douyin will also set up a series of activities throughout the spring festival break, such as collecting virtual lanterns and taking family portraits with parents. Users of the platform also have the opportunity to get “lucky koi” red envelopes, each of which is worth 8,888 yuan.

The history of the highly competitive partnership chance between the Gala and a tech giant can be traced back to 2015, the year of Goat, when Tencent won the bid for the exclusive cooperation with CCTV and issued 53.03 million yuan.

The Alibaba empire took over the position in the following two years, as Ant Group’s mobile payment provider Alipay gave out red envelopes of 800 million yuan in 2016, and its e-commerce platform Taobao issued 600 million yuan in 2017.

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In 2019, Baidu issued 900 million yuan and its daily active users spiked to 300 million on that particular day. Then in 2020, viral short video platform Kuaishou spent as much as 1 billion yuan and its live-streaming channel’s accumulative views jumped to 780 million.

On Jan. 20, Douyin’s parent company ByteDance launched Douyin Pay, its in-app payment system, entering the field of e-payments. Despite adding a new payment option, Douyin still supports options such as Alipay and Tencent-backed WeChat pay.