The number "8" is lucky in Chinese culture and Tencent's CEO Ma Huateng is auctioning the company's instant messenger account number "88888" this week to raise funds for tsunami relief.

All money earned will be given to the China Charity Federation and then dispersed to groups around the Tsunami-hit region.

The auction is being held on Taobao.com's online auction platform. Because of chaos in the last few days that has resulted in unreasonably high prices for the 88888 account number, Taobao has now initiated a new regulation that requires all participants to provide a cash deposit or company registration documents before they can participate.

The auction will end on January 14 at 22:00 (+8 GMT).

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