Executive Insight Corner

A Symbol of Wealth and Fortune

By Stella Zhu - 2019-02-21

Happy Chinese New Year! As many of you already know, 2019 is the Year of the Pig! For Chinese, the pig is an unbeatable symbol of peace, joy and prosperity. We believe that people who are born during the Year of the Pig will be blessed with good wealth and fortune in life. Micron Xi’an kicked off our celebration in high fashion, enjoying suckling pigs in our canteen and sharing enthusiastic wishes for a successful Lunar New Year!


Apart from having suckling pig in Lunar New Year, it is also the Chinese tradition for parents, grandparents, relatives, close neighbors and friends to give “red envelopes” (hongbao) to the younger generation. These envelopes are filled with money and symbolize good wishes and fortune for the new year ahead.

When my son was young, he received his red envelopes by visiting his grandparents, aunties and uncles. Today, it is becoming a widespread practice to send digital/cashless red envelopes via WeChat, which is the dominant instant messaging tool in China. Now, my son can receive his red envelopes from family and friends even though we are in a different country. This year, it has been reported that approximately 823 million people sent and received digital red envelopes during the Chinese New Year holiday (February 4–9).

Mobile cashless payments have swiftly gained popularity over the past decade. The mobile cashless payment market is dominated by two apps, WeChat Pay and Alipay, which have hundreds of millions of active monthly users. You can easily have a cashless day in China with your smartphone. Nearly all restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, taxis, subways, buses and even street food carts accept Alipay and WeChat Pay. Statistically speaking, 92% of people in China’s top cities said that they use WeChat Pay or AliPay as their primary payment method, according to a 2017 study by Penguin Intelligence. For the post-90s generation, there is a growing trend of leaving home without a wallet — but not without your smartphone! With the popularity of AI and mobile technology advancements in China, the cashless process of paying has been extremely easy. Simply scan the product or receipt QR code, click “pay” and you’re on your way.

What does this mean? And why is it important to Micron?

The continued growth of mobile cashless payments and mobile Internet users in China brings increasing demand for smartphones, tablets, cloud storage, data centers and networking, thus creating more digital data that needs to be accessed and stored nearly instantly. While I’m writing about this specifically from the viewpoint of what we see happening here in China, we’re also starting to see mobile cashless payments extend worldwide. This new global mobile lifestyle would not continue to thrive without innovation in mobile, Internet and infrastructure technology, namely 5G.

The 5G global rollout will happen in 2020, reaching performance targets of 10 Gb/s, system latency of sub 1ms, lower power, higher capacities and mass connectivity. Micron is taking an active role in 5G by working with broader ecosystem partners and customers to help build the transformation to a 5G infrastructure. From the mobile edge to networking and IoT, we are building new memory and storage solutions that are making 5G transformation vast and fast.

Happy New Year to everyone! May wealth and good fortune always be with you in the Year of the Pig! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Steve Durnal

Stella Zhu

Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, and an MBA degree. She has been a Micron employee since May 2010 and she worked at Intel Shanghai and Philippines prior to joining Micron Xi’an.