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WeChat Red Packet During Spring Festival Gala

Last updated: 2020-12-18 12:57:37

The Spring Festival Gala red packet campaign involves interactions between four major systems, namely, WeChat, WeChat Pay, red packet system, and Tenpay, which are described in detail below:

  • Red packet system: it allows users to send, grab, and open personal red packets and view related lists.
  • Tenpay: it supports payment of orders, high-performance storage of asynchronously credited transactions, and real-time display of user account balance and bills.
  • WeChat: it ensures the quality of WeChat user access over the internet.
  • WeChat Pay: it is the entry to online transactions.

Distributed transaction processing similar to the red packet system is the key focus. For example, user A sends a red packet of 10 CNY to user B with the following steps involved:

  1. Read the balance of user A's account
  2. Deduct 10 CNY from user A's account (debit)
  3. Write the result to user A's account (ACK)
  4. Read the balance of user B's account
  5. Open the red packet sent by user A to user B and read the amount
  6. Add 10 CNY to user B's account (credit)
  7. Write the result to user B's account

To ensure data consistency, the steps above have only two results: all steps either succeed or fail and then get rolled back. In this process, the distributed lock mechanism needs to be applied to the accounts of both user A and user B to avoid dirty data. In the WeChat red packet system, which is a huge distributed cluster, this issue may become extremely complicated.

Fortunately, the WeChat red packet system utilizes Tencent Cloud CMQ to avoid excessive overheads caused by distributed transactions. In the same scenario where user A sends a 10 CNY red packet to user B with CMQ used, things are much simpler as follows:

  • In step 7 above, user B opens the red packet and finds 10 CNY in it. However, the final crediting may fail due to high concurrency pressure on that day.
  • The red packet system forwards all the requests with crediting failures to CMQ. When the account balance fails to be updated for user B, the client on the mobile phone will display the waiting state. Then, the account system will continuously pull messages from CMQ to retry updating. CMQ ensures that the 10 CNY crediting message will never be lost until it is fetched out.
  • On Chinese New Year's Eve, user actions of sending and opening red packets and crediting are all converted into billions of requests. If a traditional transaction method is used, the concurrency pressure will be aggravated and crash the system.
  • CMQ ensures reliable storage and transfer of red packet messages and can write three copies in real time to avoid data loss. When fund crediting fails, the operation can be retried multiple times so as to avoid disadvantages of traditional methods such as rollback upon failure and frequent database polling.
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