Chinese revelers celebrated the New Year by sharing $US80 million in prizemoney simply by shaking their phones at their TV sets, according to figures released by social media giant WeChat.
The interactive peaked at 10.34pm on Chinese New Year’s Eve last week, when it received 810 million shakes in one minute.
The enormous response can be attributed to a partnership between WeChat and the annual televised CCTV New Year Gala.
Also known as the Spring Festival Gala, the four-and-a-half hour variety show ushers in the Lunar New Year.
Now in its 32nd year, it’s one of the most watched TV shows on the planet.
This year the indisputable drawcard was the hongbao giveaway. Hongbao are red envelopes containing gifts of cash which are traditionally given away to friends and relatives on celebratory occasions.
The envelopes are coloured red for good luck and to ward off evil spirits.
In recent years, Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Baidu and Sina have launched services which allow the red envelopes to be given away digitally.
WeChat jumped on the chance to partner with this year’s CCTV New Year Gala. Here’s how it works:
However, despite the free money on offer, a record low of just under 700 million viewers tuned in for the wild mix of opera, dancing, military displays and comedy and magic.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.