The exchange of name cards has long been a ubiquitous part of meeting new people in China.
But now it's increasingly likely to be accompanied by the frenzied flourishing of smartphones, as the participants add one another on WeChat, the phenomenally popular instant-messaging app made by the country's biggest Internet company, Tencent.
While name cards have yet to be completely supplanted, many now also have a QR code which, when scanned into a mobile phone, adds the card's bearer as a WeChat contact.
The popular function is one reason behind the rise of WeChat -- called Weixin in Chinese -- which is unseating the Twitter-like microblogging platform Sina Weibo as China's dominant social media.
Once a lively forum for public debate that for a time wrong-footed Chinese censors, users are ditching Weibo as tightened government oversight takes its toll. WeChat's greater privacy and wider range of applications make it more attractive to users.
Ye Jun, a 26-year-old project manager in Shanghai, started using WeChat when she upgraded to an iPhone last May.
By that time, most of her friends were already using the service, although she still preferred Weibo.
That changed in November, when she caught the bouquet at a friend's wedding, and posted pictures of the event on her WeChat activity timeline which, like Facebook, allows users to share photos and status updates with their contacts.
"There were instant comments from my friends. It was fun. I realized that WeChat was a better, more effective social networking tool than Weibo, which has been practically abandoned by most people."
The rise of WeChat
WeChat was launched in early 2011, attracting 100 million registered users in its first 15 months.
This was in part due to Tencent's ability to promote the app to its huge base of over 800 million users of its many other services, including QQ, its desktop instant messaging client.
Tencent has also been quick in rolling out new versions of the app, adding features such as mobile payment, e-commerce integration, games, marketing accounts for brands, a taxi-hailing function and an online investment fund.
Many were quick to gain traction in the day-to-day lives of users. A function that allowed people to give and receive digital versions of Lunar New Year red envelopes saw 20 million exchanged.
As of last September, when Tencent's most recent figures were released, WeChat had 271.9 million active monthly users, up 124% from the previous year.
Dodging state censorship
There are growing indications that Weibo, once a hotbed of public discussion from celebrity scandals to holding corrupt officials to account, is losing its appeal.
The collision of two high-speed trains near the Eastern city of Wenzhou in 2011 was a watershed moment, seeing harried Internet censors play whack-a-mole with comments by Weibo users, who were critical of the government's handling of the aftermath.
Over the next year, the government tightened its grip. Measures included requiring that accounts be registered under real names, and that those posting "rumors" be suspended.
According to a report by researchers at East China Normal University commissioned by the UK's Telegraph newspaper, a significant drop in active usage came after venture capitalist and high-profile Weibo user Charles Xue was arrested for soliciting prostitutes.
He was paraded on state television, and confessed to spreading irresponsible messages online.
In addition, a report by the China Internet Network Information Center backs the findings of East China Normal University, claiming the number of microblog users, which includes Sina Weibo and similar services, dropped by over 27.8 million last year.
According to Sina's latest figures, Weibo's daily active users are still growing, albeit slowly, with a 4.2 percent rise in the fourth quarter.
The company says third-party claims of a drop in active users are flawed, and chairman and CEO, Charles Chao said during a recent earnings call that the average time users spent on Weibo did not change over the third quarter of 2013.