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China tech

China tech companies battle behind scenes of top New Year show

Douyin chalks up win for upstarts with 'red envelope' sponsorship

Presenters on the Spring Festival Gala program told the audience to open the Douyin app for a "red envelope" giveaway.

TOKYO -- Relaxing in front of the television on Lunar New Year's Eve to watch CCTV's Spring Festival Gala is a tradition for more than 1 billion people in China, and the variety show airing on the state-run broadcaster provides an opportunity to gauge the state of play in the country's fast-moving internet industry.

During this year's program on Feb. 11, a presenter told the audience to open the Douyin app -- the Chinese version of ByteDance's popular TikTok short-video platform -- for a virtual "red envelope" giveaway. Viewers could use Douyin's new mobile payment service for a chance at part of the 1.2 billion yuan ($186 million) up for grabs in this spin on the Lunar New Year tradition of cash gifts.

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