What is Tencent?

QQ logo

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The penguins are symbols of Tencent’s iconic messaging platform QQ, which launched 5 years quicker than fb, in 1999

primarily based in Shenzhen and based in 1998, the chinese language firm Tencent enjoys large reputation – and income – in China.

Its lovely penguin image is as acquainted to chinese language children as the McDonalds “golden arches” logo is to children within the West, says the BBC’s China media analyst Kerry Allen.

About Tencent?

what’s Tencent?

“Tencent is thought of as a lot more than most effective a chinese firm in China – it has won a reputation as a household-high-quality provider that connects households, pals and work colleagues in a digital age,” she mentioned.

“It has a change adaptation that other chinese language language firms can simplest envy – it could possibly attain an goal market of, primarily, everybody.”

what’s Tencent?

but lots of individuals inside the West have never heard of it.

that does not mean it can be not present in our frequently lives, even if – Tencent moreover owns chunks of some of Western tradition’s hottest video games, monitor and flicks.


Like Google’s dad or mum company, Alphabet, Tencent has a large portfolio of pursuits, even supposing arguably it continues to be best identified for its messaging services and products.

US president Donald Trump singled out the app WeChat in his most newest govt order, which calls for US firms stop doing business with it.

WeChat has over a billion users, every within China and in every single place the world – the chinese language language version is referred to as Weixin.

it can be continuously when put next with WhatsApp – and unquestionably it is extensively used for messaging – quite a few US messaging apps and social media websites are banned by way of the chinese language state so which you can’t (officially) fb message a pal in Beijing, for instance.

then again there’s far more to WeChat than messaging.

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WeChat has over one thousand million month-to-month users

it’s extra corresponding to a separate working instrument: much like you may also use Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS for an excessive amount of obligations, it’s used to learn news, pay payments, order transport or foods, and run small companies.

The agency has not revealed simply how profitable WeChat is by using itself, then again it is clear that Tencent – as an entire – is prospering.

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Tencent’s headquarters are in Shenzhen

incomes results for the main quarter of 2020 confirmed a complete earnings of 108 billion chinese language yuan ($15.2 billion) – a upward thrust of 26% yr-on-yr, whatever the coronavirus pandemic. Alphabet’s earnings for the same length used to be as soon as $forty one.2 bn.

Crunchbase’s Tencent entry lists 479 investments, with a fund totalling $6.6bn. it will be tedious to move via all of them, alternatively let’s take a at hand information a rough take a look at a few of them.


it can be clear that Tencent makes a lot of money by means of gaming.

Tencent is the most important video video video games author on this planet. It has a stake throughout the two hottest combat Royale-sort games: Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PubG).

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It owns a forty% stake in Fortnite studio, Epic games, and has the license to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PubG) – even supposing it failed in its personal battle to get the sport licensed for distribution in China.

It also owns your entire League of Legends studio, rise up video video games.

In October 2019, pc Gamer published a list of 16 games companies outdoor of China that Tencent had publicly invested in, together with Ubisoft and Discord.

song and movies

It also invests in Western tune and flicks.

Tencent has simply as of late achieved a deal giving it a ten% stake in common tune. The file label contains main artists reminiscent of woman Gaga, Taylor Swift, Drake and Kendrick Lamar on its books.

in addition, Tencent already has its non-public song division – Tencent song amusement (TME).

And a share-swap in 2017 observed it take a 7.5% stake in streaming massive Spotify (Spotify received 9.5% of TME in return, mentioned Tech Crunch at the time).

Tencent footage, its film and manufacturing arm, has been eager about quite a lot of Hollywood motion pictures, together with Terminator: darkish destiny (2019), surprise woman (2017) and the upcoming high Gun sequel, high Gun: Maverick – scheduled for free up in 2021.

Oh – and there’s additionally the small topic of the chinese language massive proudly proudly owning 5% of the united states electrical automobile firm Tesla.

what’s the united states inquisitive about?

President Donald Trump says that the unfold in the USA of cell apps developed and owned with assistance from chinese companies “threaten the national security, world protection, and economic device of the usa”.

the united states govt says both Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat “snatch huge swaths of information from its customers”.

“this knowledge assortment threatens to permit the chinese language language Communist social gathering get admission to to americans’ private and proprietary knowledge,” it claims.

Tencent’s chief executive and co-founder Ma Huateng, often called Pony Ma, is generally assumed to fortify the Communist party. he’s a member of the nationwide people’s Congress (NPC), China’s nationwide parliament.

Trump’s govt order additionally claims both WeChat and TikTok accumulate information on chinese nationals traveling the united states, permitting Beijing “to handle tabs” on them.

Prof Alan Woodward, a cyber safety a professional from Surrey faculty, elements out that for global customers, WeChat data sits on servers out of doors of China – that suggests in thought that it’s further secure from state scrutiny.

then again, he brought that WeChat’s privateness coverage overtly states that it’ll “agree to any legal requests from state businesses handy over information they have got of their servers”.

“merely as with TikTok, the priority is that the mother or father agency is chinese language and in this case it usually is argued that they’re indisputably matter to the chinese Intelligence Act,” he mentioned.

Tencent has so far issued the briefest of responses to the guidelines from the US: “we’re reviewing the chief order to get a full determining,” it talked about.

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