PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 5:56pm

Retired official says family no longer receives heavy lai see packets


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

A retired Chinese official said he was disappointed that old acquaintances, who used to give his children lai see packets containing thousands of yuan, did not give them any this year, reported Xinhua state news agency this week.

Nothing has changed except that he’s now retired, the former official said.

“In the past a single red envelope could contain as much as 10,000 yuan (HK$10,240),” the unnamed former official said.

But "friends" stopped passing out heavy lai see packets after he retired. Now it’s only relatives who give out red envelopes - and much thinner ones.

His confessions drew over 3000 comments on Sina Weibo, China’s twitter-like service, where netizens showed little sympathy. 

“This is why no official wants to retire early,” commented one blogger.

“How much is enough?” said another. “Do you want to be a vampire all your life?”



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