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It is tradition for Chinese companies to give out hongbaos (red packets) to employees on the eve of the Chinese New Year for good luck in the year ahead. However, this year, Alibaba’s employees won’t be receiving any.
Alibaba Group’s founder, Jack Ma told employees not to expect a hongbao this year, in a blog post on Weibo.
In the post, he explains that the reason for giving out hongbaos is that the company must have had good results, and that these results must be surprisingly good.
“The success of becoming listed should not be a surprise as it was the result of all of Alibaba’s employees’ work over 15 years. But aside from going public, objectively speaking, we haven’t been that satisfied with our results in 2014 that we should distribute red envelopes,” he said, as cited in The Wall Street Journal.
“We must objectively and calmly see our own results, rationally regard external views and not let ourselves be lost in illusory fame.”
However, he ended his post on an encouraging note, reminding employees that 2014 in the past now, and that the trend was 2015 should be “taking hongbao”, rather than “receiving hongbao.”
“This 2015, employees of Alibaba should work hard together, and take back the hongbao that belongs to them.”
Despite the lack of red packets this Chinese New Year, Alibaba’s employees will still receive a 13th month year-end bonus which will be given out sometime this month.