After waging a hectic marketing war for virtual red envelopes over the Lunar New Year, Chinese tech companies switched to more old-fashioned methods to celebrate the first workday after Lunar New Year.
‘First Day Red Envelopes’ is a tradition that originated in South China’s Cantonese speaking areas with a concentration of tech companies like Tencent and NetEase. On the first workday after the Chinese New Year holiday, company leaders are supposed to distribute red envelopes containing ‘lucky money’ to any staff that greets him or her for the New Year.
Now it’s a widely celebrated tradition for many companies across China, with red envelopes becoming a primary motivator for getting employees back to work after a long holiday.
As one of the tech companies starting their work week on Feb 14th, Xiaomi posted photos of company president Lin Bin giving out red envelopes on Weibo.
Tencent, with its headquarters in Guangdong, is one of the most devoted advocates of the tradition.
The employee who claimed to have received the first red envelope started to line up at 3 A.M.!
For new members, one of the incentives that helped them bear hours in the blowing wind was to meet the big boss in the flesh for the first time.
The tradition also serves as a chance for employees to show appreciation for their managers!
Rumor has it that WeChat’s signature virtual red envelope was first designed to give out lucky money to team members internally. Some team leaders were too scared to be chased all around the company so they chose to do an online version instead of showing up at the office — the inspiration for what would become WeChat’s hugely popular red envelopes.
Because Feb 14th is also the Valentines’ Day, some companies gave employees roses together with red envelopes.
Some companies are even more considerate.
But for some companies, back to work gifts can be more ‘spiritual’.
According to an internal post at Baidu, Baidu’s New Year gift is the ‘Revelation of Robin Li’s Daily routine!’
The team at AllChinaTech also got our lucky money for the first day of work! Did you get anything?