FIRST AIRED: March 8, 2017

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>> You could call it China's digital gold rush. The latest trend in the country's love for virtual gift giving. State banking giant ICBC has become banking digital pack are so called micro gold with the real thing. An idea based on popular app WeChat's virtual cash envelopes which are exchanged in an astonishing 46 billion times over the Lunar New Year Holiday alone.
In that same period $14 million worth of gold was also sent by mobile users. Reuters Adam Jordan says the new fad could be a gateway for millennial customers.>> To a certain degree these online goal gifting markets are a bit gimmicky. They're a great way of luring in younger consumers on their smart phones and it's a bit different from giving just digital cash.
You're giving a bit of gold whether that's digital or even tied to some real gold behind it which people are going to eventually cash out on. People like ICBC, China's biggest bank, they say this is a great way of luring in these consumers into the more traditional gold products that they sell.
These guys start on WeChat and hopefully and end up migrating to the products that they have traditionally sold through the bank.>> For many young Chinese gold has emotional and economic significance. And property is losing its investment appeal as prices spike.>> Some of the young consumers we spoke to mentioned their family and their parents' generation.
And what they said was that their parents had invested in gold but through gold bars or buying jewelry as gifts or an investment. What they're doing now is they're taking that history and tradition and moving it online so perhaps the younger 20 something year olds can't afford to spend money on a house yet.
But they can afford to put some money into an online gold account and keep that for the future as a small investment.>> Analysts see China's millennials as drivers of the new economy. One trading platform saying they make up 60% of the online gold market. That's picked the interest of Beijing which last week called on tech firms to start on piling in to the gold trade.