The Lunar New Year,
or widely known as the Spring Festival, is one of my favourite festivities. Celebrated
for thousands of years, previous Spring Festival traditions involved offering sacrifices
to the god of Fortune and ancestors; setting off firecrackers (government
permitting); going home for family reunions, wearing new clothes and giving red
packets to the younger ones.
CLICK TO TWEET: In today’s connected world, we’re now embracing
the Lunar New Year from our mobile phones. CommScope's Laura Chen explains
in this blog.
What has changed?
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by citizens across Asia, including
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and
Vietnam; although it is the most significant festival in China.
Similar to other holidays, modern celebrations involve enjoying
good food during a family reunion, playing mahjong, sporting new wardrobes, and giving red packets. Yet in today’s connected world, we’re now embracing
the Lunar New Year from our mobile phones.
Technology gives tradition a new spin
In China, we’re blurring the lines of tradition with the
technology that enables it. For example:
- Digital red
packets - WeChat “Hong Bao”
The tradition started when the eldest family
members gave red packets (“Hong Bao”)
containing money to the younger generation, symbolizing good fortune in the new
corporations have adopted
this practice, giving red packets to employees. However, one must be mindful of the amount as
numbers like 8 and 88 are considered lucky, according to Chinese
I know queued outside their boss’ office in anticipation of a red packet. However, with WeChat “Hong
Bao”- the digital version of traditional red packets, the tradition is
honoured quickly and conveniently. In
billion electronic “Hong Bao” were sent during the Lunar New
- e-Commerce shopping
for new clothes, food…and boyfriends
Aside from auspicious numbers, the Chinese also
believe in ‘lucky food.’ For instance,
one of the symbolic
dishes is fish which means
“abundance” in Chinese. While the ‘lucky
food’ remains timeless, the means to purchase them has changed. In 2017, 73%
of shoppers went online
for their Lunar New Year necessities rather than going to the supermarket in
And it’s not just food. We can get anything we
need for the Lunar New Year online, even a temporary
boyfriend from Taobao. This helps single women avoid probing
questions from curious family members during the festive season!
- 1,000 rail
tickets purchased per second during “Chun Yun”
“Chun Yun” is a term to describe the world’s
largest annual human travel season which occurs during the Spring Festival.
City inhabitants from places like Shanghai and Beijing travel home to visit
their families, accumulating approximately 2.98
billion trips. With the internet,
tickets can be easily purchased online. Rail, being the most popular mode of interstate
travel, saw 1,000
rail tickets snapped up every second during 2017 “Chun Yun”.
It seems that no industry is unaffected. For example, carpooling services are becoming
increasingly popular given the popularity of trains in a country of more than
one billion inhabitants. Thanks to Didi, China’s private car hailing app,
people can now book rides and make travel plans conveniently. Didi Hitch logged as many as 8.4 million
long-distance ride shares during the Lunar New Year rush, according to SCMP.
Consumers are addicted to apps like WeChat and Didi, expecting to be able to make purchases and
bookings quickly and conveniently. The
ever increasing bandwidth requirements due to the number of connected devices
and digital services is putting more strains on the network. And in today’s connected society, modern tradition must be powered by high quality network infrastructure.
Despite this, network infrastructure like cabling tends to be out of sight, out of
mind and out of the way. As a result,
it’s not always recognized publicly for its value, according to a CommScope blog by James Donovan.
Data centre operators must prepare for this growth, ensuring
more speed, lower latency, and zero bottlenecks. They can team with CommScope
to create a roadmap for investments in fibre
or copper cabling which will
ultimately help their networks become more efficient and reliable.
Every Lunar New Year starts with a new zodiac sign and 2018
is the Year of the Dog. As the festive
season dawns upon us, I wish all our readers good health, good luck and lots of
happiness throughout the year.