Reddest red envelope: Chinese Communist party hands out cash

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BEIJING: China’s Communist Party has found a new way to court technology-savvy web users, setting phrases by President Xi Jinping as the password for electronic “red envelopes” of online cash totaling 300,000 yuan ($50,000) offered ahead of the Lunar New Year. To stand a chance of collecting it, users must get a passphrase from an account owned by the ruling party’s powerful organization department and run by the official Xinhua news agency on WeChat, Tencent’s hugely popular instant messaging service. Users were skeptical, with one poster on China’s Twitter-like Weibo describing the exercise as “weird,” adding: “Party and government agencies just need to do their own job well.” Another asked: “Did anyone actually get one?”

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