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Western Union's 31,000 Book Drive For China's Provinces: International Red-packet Giving Also Gifts Knowledge To Children In Need This CNY

BEIJING, January 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Western Union rallies consumers and supporters with the aim to stock libraries in China's 31 provinces

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, today invited the Chinese community globally to join a Chinese New Year drive. The goal is to gift the China Youth Development Foundation 31 libraries of 1,000 books, enough for each of mainland China's 31 provinces.

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Upholding the Chinese tradition of red envelope gifting of cash during Chinese New Year, Western Union will make a gift to the China Youth Development Foundation for every transaction sent from one of 21 countries into China during the promotional period.

The company will also donate for every "like" of its post about the campaign on Facebook and every "reTweet" of its program announcement on Twitter.   The program enables consumers to promote education for children in need, just by using or 'liking' Western Union.

The 21 participating countries are the United States and Canada in North America; the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Russia in Europe and Central Asia; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East; Angola in Africa; Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia in Asia Pacific; and Brazil, Peru, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay in Latin America.

"Western Union's analysis shows more gifts are given at Chinese New Year than during any festive or seasonal holiday around the world. Billions of gifts of cash are exchanged, traditionally crisp new banknotes wrapped in red envelopes and increasingly through remittances with over 40 million Chinese living and working overseas," says Drina Yue, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Western Union Asia-Pacific.

"As we reach out to friends and family in China in the lead-up to Chinese New Year, just by using Western Union we are creating opportunity and bringing good fortune to young people in the year of the snake and beyond. There is no more valuable gift than the gift of knowledge," she said.

"During the Spring Festival, it's our custom in China to think not only of a new start but about others. We are delighted that Western Union has created a platform to gather the good wishes of people from all around the world to stimulate the curiosity of young people and help them to prepare for a brighter future." Mr. Chunlei Yang, Deputy Secretary General of the China Youth Development Foundation said.

Cash remains the gift of choice during Chinese New Year and represents in Chinese culture close family ties, devotion and respect of elders and good fortune for the future, according to Western Union consumer insights.

The maximum value donated for all transaction and social network activity between January 28, 2013 and February 10, 2013 will be USD50,220, which equates to funding 31 libraries of 1,000 books each. Each qualifying transaction and social media activation will trigger a donation of USD 0.25.

Chinese New Year falls on February 10 this year and will see out the dragon year and welcome the entrance of the snake

This campaign is part of Western Union's Education for Better program, a three-year commitment to advance global education goals.

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