WeChat Red Envelops: Literature Review and Future Research Directions

  • Zerun Chen
  • Rui GuEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11434)


As an innovative Internet product grounded in Chinese particularistic culture, WeChat Red Envelops has received increasing attention from both academics and practitioners. A considerable number of studies have been conducted to investigate the WeChat Red Envelops phenomenon. However, the extant literature has been very scattered and little effort has been devoted to integrating the existing findings. Consequently, our understanding of the WeChat Red Envelops phenomenon is fragmented and limited. Against this background, this study conducted a systematic review of extant studies, summarized the current research status, identified the research gaps and accordingly provide future research directions. We believe that this study offers an important foundation for future research to conduct in-depth investigation and advance our understanding regarding WeChat Red Envelops.


WeChat Red Envelops Mobile social media Mobile internet Product innovation Gamification 



This research was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71501042), the Social Science Foundation of Beijing City (17XCC008), the Program for Young Excellent Talents of UIBE (17YQ16), the China Scholarship Council (201806645005), and the Foundation for Disciplinary Development of SITM in UIBE.


  1. Cai, C., Shang, H., Lertsiriworapong, T.: A study of motivation factors of grab red envelopes phenomenon: a case study of WeChat, In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Management Science, Innovation, and Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 120–132 (2017)Google Scholar
  2. Chen, N., Rau, P.-L.P.: Group participation influence on members’ gifting behaviors in a social game. In: Rau, P.-L.P. (ed.) CCD 2016. LNCS, vol. 9741, pp. 34–42. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  3. Cheng, B.: Criminal law issues and regulatory path of WeChat red envelops. J. Tianshui Adm. Coll. 17(5), 27–30 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Dong, T.: An empirical analysis of the WeChat cases of WeChat red envelops. Leg. Syst. Soc. 4, 59–63 (2017). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. Du, L.: The status quo and prevention of WeChat gambling. Net Moon Acad. J. 4, 80–85 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Feng, J.: Research on communication strategy based on network social relation structure—from WeChat red envelops. Southeast. Commun. 4, 80–82 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Feng, L.: Research on the popular situation of WeChat red envelops. Journal. Commun. 18, 74–76 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Gregor, S., Hevner, A.R.: Positioning and presenting design science research for maximum impact. MIS Q. 37(2), 337–355 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guha, S., Kumar, S.: Emergence of big data research in operations management, information systems, and healthcare: past contributions and future roadmap. Prod. Oper. Manag. 27(9), 1724–1735 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Holmes, K., Balnaves, M., Wang, Y.: Red bags and WeChat (wēixìn): online collectivism during massive chinese cultural events. Global Media J. Aust. Ed. 9(1), 1–12 (2015)Google Scholar
  11. Hu, B.: An exploratory study of the influence of interpersonal communication on WeChat red envelops. West. Acad. J. (News Commun.) 4, 43–45 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Huang, C., Gao, X.: The legal risk of WeChat red envelops under the background of internet finance and its prevention. J. Beijing Polit. Law Vocat. Coll. 4, 77–82 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Huang, D., He, J., Cai, H., Lin, J.: Analysis on the characteristics of WeChat red envelops gambling and countermeasures. J. Zhejiang Police Coll. 4, 76–80 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Huang, X.: An Empirical Study on the Use Behavior of WeChat Red Envelops and Its Influencing Factors. Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. iResearch.: 2017 China Social Application Demand Value White Paper (2017). (in Chinese).
  16. Kantar.: 2017 China Social Media Impact Report (2017). (in Chinese).–6408264.html
  17. Katz, E., Blumler, J.G., Gurevitch, M.: On the use of the mass media. Am. Sociol. Rev. 38(2), 164–181 (1973a)Google Scholar
  18. Katz, E., Blumler, J.G., Gurevitch, M.: Uses and gratifications research. Pub. Opin. Q. 37(4), 509–523 (1973b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee, A.S., Hubona, G.S.: A scientific basis for rigor in information systems research. MIS Q. 33(2), 237–262 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li, D.: Research on space-time utility of WeChat payment, In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Humanities and Social Science Research, pp. 228–232. Atlantis Press (2016a)Google Scholar
  21. Li, D., Liu, J., Ma, M., Zhang, C.: WeChat red envelops, consumers grab or not grab: interpretation based on mediation model of participation motivation and psychological resistance. J. Acad. Mark. Sci. 12(1), 18–37 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Li, S.: Perspective on the legal risk of WeChat red envelops. Jinan J. (Philos. Soc. Sci. Ed.) 38(10), 74–81 (2016b). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Li, W.: On the duality of WeChat red envelops related crimes and criminal regulations. J. Guangxi Polit. Leg. Manag. Cadre Coll. 25(4), 66–71 (2016c). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Li, X., Zhang, J.: Discussion on the rise of WeChat red envelops from the perspective of communication. Today Media 23(6), 105–107 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  25. Liang, F.: WeChat red envelops. News Outpost 4, 92 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Liao, L.: Grab WeChat red envelops, can’t stop it! China Telecom Ind. 3, 50–51 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Liu, D., Santhanam, R., Webster, J.: Toward meaningful engagement: a framework for design and research of gamified information systems. MIS Q. 41(4), 1011–1034 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu, J.: Looking at the WeChat red envelops from the internet thinking marketing. Mark. Res. 3, 37–38 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Liu, W., He, X., Zhang, P.: Application of red envelopes–new weapon of WeChat payment, In: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Education, Management, Information and Medicine, pp. 704–708. Atlantis Press, Shenyang (2015)Google Scholar
  30. Luo, K., Zhao, Y.: Organizing others to grab wechat red envelops and tapping the profit should open a casino crime. China Prosec. 18, 11–13 (2018). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  31. Mo, D.: WeChat red envelops triggers mobile payment battle. Comput. Netw. 5, 13 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Park, L.J.: WeChat Red Bags: How International Students from China Use Social Media While Attending a Public University in California. University of California, Los Angeles (2016)Google Scholar
  33. Qi, T.: An exploratory study of the investigation of online gambling crime cases—taking WeChat red envelops gambling as an example. J. Beijing Police Coll. 3, 76–82 (2017). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Shang, X., Feng, Y.: How to rectify WeChat red envelops gambling. Mod. World Police 2, 91–92 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  35. Shen, S., Chen, Y.: An exploratory study of the influence of WeChat red envelops propagation on interpersonal relationship. Sci. Technol. Commun. 8, 110–111 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Shi, X.: Fraudulent behavior and legal supervision in wechat red envelops mobile payment. People’s Forum 11, 111–113 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  37. Sun, R.: Analysis on the characteristics of WeChat red envelops and its propagation effect. Journal. Commun. 3, 22–23 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  38. Tarafdar, M., Gupta, A., Turel, O.: The dark side of information technology use. Inf. Syst. J. 23(3), 269–275 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tecent, T.: New Trend Report of 2017 Mobile Red Envelops (2017). (in Chinese).
  40. Tian, H.: Legal problems and countermeasures in WeChat red envelops. J. Chongqing Ind. Trade Vocat. Tech. Coll. 1, 81–86 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  41. Tian, J.: Analysis of the Chinese new year red envelops customs in WeChat red envelops. News Res. Guide 7(19), 88–89 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  42. Venkatesh, V., Brown, S.A., Bala, H.: Bridging the qualitative-quantitative divide: guidelines for conducting mixed methods research in information systems. MIS Q. 37(1), 21–54 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vodanovich, S., McKenna, B., Cai, W.: Cultural values inherent in the design of social media platforms: a case study of WeChat, In: Pucihar, A., Borštnar, M.K., Kittl, C., Ravesteijn, P., Clarke, R., Bons, R. (eds.) Proceedings of the Thirtieth BLED eConference, Bled, Slovenia, pp. 617–627 (2017)Google Scholar
  44. Wang, H., Wang, S.: Analysis of the influence of WeChat red envelops on the construction of interpersonal relationship. Southeast. Commun. 4, 64–67 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  45. Wang, N.: Study on the Phenomenon of WeChat Red Envelops Propagation. Liaoning University, Shenyang (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  46. Wang, R.: Analysis of the positive and negative effects of WeChat red envelops on interpersonal communication. Southeast. Commun. 7, 77–80 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  47. Webster, J., Watson, R.T.: Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: writing a literature review. MIS Q. 26(2), 13–23 (2002)Google Scholar
  48. WeChat.: WeChat Data Report During the Spring Festival of 2018 (2018). (in Chinese).
  49. Wei, Y.: Communication analysis of the prevalence of WeChat red envelops. Mod. Audiov. 5, 271–273 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  50. Wu, J., Liu, L., Huang, L.: Exploring user acceptance of innovative mobile payment service in emerging market: the moderating effect of diffusion stages of WeChat Payment in China, In: Proceedings of the Twentieth Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, pp. 1–16. AIS Electronic Library (2016)Google Scholar
  51. Wu, L.: Thinking behind WeChat red envelops fanaticism. Mod. Women (late) 6, 321 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  52. Wu, Z., Ma, X.: Money as a social currency to manage group dynamics: red packet gifting in chinese online communities. In: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Denver, CO, USA, pp. 2240–2247. ACM (2017)Google Scholar
  53. Xie, C., Putrevu, J.S.H., Linder, C.: Family, friends, and cultural connectedness: a comparison between wechat and facebook user motivation, experience and NPS among Chinese people living overseas. In: Rau, P.-L.P. (ed.) CCD 2017. LNCS, vol. 10281, pp. 369–382. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  54. Xiong, W.: WeChat red envelops: characteristics of new gambling activities and countermeasures. Public Secur. Educ. 2, 29–34 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  55. Xu, Q., Song, Q.: New thoughts on WeChat red envelops: using WeChat as an example to analyze the success factors of new media products. China Media Technol. 3, 27–30 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  56. Xu, X.: The influence of WeChat red envelops on chinese new year culture from the perspective of new media. Today Media 24(10), 45–48 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  57. Yan, M.: Talking about the functional tendency of social media communication—taking WeChat red envelops as an example. News Res. Guide 6(10), 5–6 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  58. Yan, W.: Looking at the network marketing method from WeChat red envelops. Time Finan. 3, 222–223 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  59. Yang, K., Li, S.: An exploratory study of tencent’s marketing thinking behind WeChat red envelops. Mark. Wkly. Theor. Res. 2, 54–55 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  60. Yang, S., Chen, J.: Research on Audience demand based on use and satisfaction theory—from WeChat red envelops. Publ. Wide Angle 10, 67–69 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  61. Ye, Q.: Research on marketing strategy of WeChat red envelops based on social relationship. News World 4, 133–134 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  62. Yin, R.K.: Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2013)Google Scholar
  63. Zeng, T.: Analysis on the product marketing thinking of WeChat red envelops. Mark. Wkly (Theory Res. 6, 76–77 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  64. Zhang, X.: Interactive research on WeChat red envelops in the perspective of interactive ceremony chain. Journal. Res. Guide 3, 8–9 (2016). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  65. Zhao, W.: Behind the WeChat red envelops: the key points of new media brand marketing. Audiovisual 6, 150–151 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  66. Zhou, S.: On the basis of communication audience psychology to explore the madness of online red envelops. Journal. Res. Guide 8, 224 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  67. Zhu, W.: From the marketing strategies in didi WeChat red envelops to see the user sharing behavior in the mobile internet. News World 4, 97–98 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Technology and ManagementUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations