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28/01/2021 - 

Chinese New Year 2021 in the UK: Digital Red Envelope Gift Ideas

[b]Chinese New Year 2021 in the UKIn 2021, Chinese New Year falls on 12 February. It’s usually marked by big celebrations in the UK, including London’s free Chinese New Year parade across Chinatown and the West End. However, 2021 is likely going to see Chinese New Year events in the UK cancelled or transformed.
For the Chinese community in the UK, this can be a difficult moment. Especially since international travel is currently not recommended. So, how can you celebrate CNY 2021 with your Chinese community in the UK, or with your loved ones in China? 
Enter the red envelope. 


The Red Envelope: A Key Chinese Tradition

In China, special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, and the Lunar New Year, are marked by exchanging hong bao, or red envelopes. That literally means a red envelope with some RMB cash in it. The red colour of the envelope is believed to bring luck and ward off evil spirits. 
But how does a cash gift help you in a lockdown situation where you can’t visit your loved ones or celebrate in person? Since 2014, the red envelope tradition has undergone a digital revolution. The popular Chinese messaging app WeChat added a virtual red packet feature. That means you can send the traditional monetary gifts to your WeChat contacts directly via the platform. 
Sending the traditional gift to your Chinese  community is a great way to mark Chinese New year 2021.  But can you use the WeChat red envelope service in the UK? 

Sending a WeChat Red Envelope from the UK

Anyone anywhere can download the WeChat app and register. However, the features available to you will differ based on your location and the type of bank card you connect to the app. Unfortunately, the WeChat red packet feature is only available in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Africa. 
However, although you won’t be able to send a WeChat red packet from the UK, you might be able to receive one.

Receiving a WeChat Red Envelope in the UK

If your WeChat account is connected to a Chinese bank card, then you have some luck. You can receive a WeChat red packet from your family abroad - make sure to let them know!
However, if you don’t have a Chinese bank card, this won’t work. You will still receive the red packet in your WeChat Wallet, but if you don’t connect a Chinese bank card to your WeChat account within 24 hours, the money will be returned to the sender. 
That would be a sad ending to the story if it was the only way to send a digital gift. But it isn’t. Here are some great alternatives to WeChat’s red packet idea.

Digital CNY Gift Ideas that work from the UK

Red Envelope CNY Gift IdeasYes, the tradition requires that you gift money. However, it doesn’t specify in what format the money should be. So, why not make digital gift cards this year’s perfect Chinese New Year gift? There are options for all situations, including:
  • Digital gift cards for your Chinese community within the UK

Want to send a red envelope gift to your Chinese friends, family or colleagues within the UK? Pick from our wide selection of digital prepaid codes. We have something to please anybody - from gaming and entertainment fans, to shopping pros and passionate travellers. Each gift card has several value options - make sure you pick a value that ends in an even number, as the Chinese tradition dictates. 
Do you want to pay with your Chinese bank card from the UK? That’s possible! On mobiletopup.co.uk, China Union Pay is an accepted payment method. 

  • Digital gifts for your Chinese community in China

Instead of sending cash this Lunar New Year, you can gift digital value to your loved ones in China - for example, by topping up their prepaid phones for them. What better way to say you care than the gift of time to be spent connecting with each other? 
You can buy mobile top-up for China Telecom, China Unicom or China Mobile from anywhere in the world. The recipient will get it instantly, directly on their phone. 

Last-minute Red Envelope Gifts UK

All our gift cards are sent instantly via email as digital codes. That means you can order them last-minute. 
Want an extra personal touch? If you do have a day or two extra, you can print out the digital code you’ll receive, place it in a red envelope and send it to your Chinese loved ones in the UK via regular mail. 
Ready? Happy Chinese New Year!

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