Tencent

Tencent is a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company with a diversified range of businesses including internet services, artificial intelligence, technology, entertainment, and financial services.

Categories

Media and Communications  
Technology  

#15

Rank

$430.65B

MarketCap CN

CN China

Country

Summary

Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate and holding company headquartered in Shenzhen. It is one of the highest grossing multimedia companies in the world based on revenue. It is also the world's largest company in the video game industry based on its investments, with Tencent Games being the subdivision of Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group (IEG) focused on publishing of games.

Founded in 1998, its subsidiaries globally market various Internet-related services and products, including in entertainment, artificial intelligence, and other technology. Its twin-skyscraper headquarters, Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen.

Tencent is the world's largest video game vendor, as well as one of the most financially valuable companies. It is among the largest social media, venture capital, and investment corporations. Its services include social networks, music, web portals, e-commerce, mobile games, internet services, payment systems, smartphones, and multiplayer online games. It operates the instant messengers Tencent QQ and WeChat, and QQ.com. It also owns Tencent Music.


History

Tencent was founded by Pony Ma, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Charles Chen and Zeng Liqing in November 1998 as Tencent Inc, incorporated in the Cayman Islands. The name "Tencent" is based on its Chinese name Tengxun, which incorporates part of Pony Ma's Chinese name that literally means "galloping fast information". Initial funding was provided to it by venture capitalists. In February 1999, Tencent's messenger product OICQ released. Shortly after, Tencent had the client's name changed to QQ. The company remained unprofitable for the first three years.

The company originally derived income solely from advertising and premium users of QQ, who pay monthly fees to receive extras. By 2005, charging for use of QQ mobile, its cellular value-added service, and licensing its penguin character, which could be found on snack food and clothing, had also become income generators. By 2008, Tencent was seeing profit growth from the sale of virtual goods.

While Tencent's services have included online gaming since 2004, around 2007/2008 it rapidly increased its offerings by licensing games. While at least two, Crossfire and Dungeon Fighter Online, were originally produced by South Korean game developers, Tencent now makes its own games. On 21 January 2011, Tencent launched Weixin, a social media app. Now branded as WeChat, the app is one of the "super apps", due to its wide range of functions and platforms, and its over 1 billion monthly active users.

On 18 February 2011, Tencent acquired a majority of equity interest (92.78%) in Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, for about US$230 million. Tencent had already held 22.34% of the equity interest out of a previous investment in 2008. On 16 December 2015, Riot Games sold its remaining equity to Tencent. Tencent acquired a minority stake in Epic Games, developer of franchises like Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade, in June 2012. That year, Tencent acquired ZAM Network, parent of Wowhead and other websites, from Brock Pierce.

Tencent in 2013 increased its stake in Kingsoft Network Technology, a subsidiary of Kingsoft Corporation, to 18%. Tencent previously had a 15.68% stake in the company and raised the stake through a US$46.98 million investment. Tencent took part in Activision Blizzard splitting from Vivendi as a passive investor in 2013 and now owns less than 4.9% of the shares as of 2017. On 17 September 2013, it was announced that Tencent had invested $448 million for a minority share in Chinese search engine Sogou.com, the subsidiary of Sohu, Inc.

On 15 January 2014, Tencent said it would invest HKD 1.5 billion (US$193.45 million) in logistics and warehouse firm China South City Holdings Ltd to develop its e-commerce and logistics business. On 27 February 2014, Tencent purchased a 20-percent stake in restaurant ratings and group-buying website Dianping for $400 million. On 10 March 2014, Tencent bought a 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce website JD.com Inc. by paying cash and handing over its e-commerce businesses Paipai, QQ Wanggou and a stake in Yixun to JD.com to build a stronger competitor to Alibaba Group.

In January 2015, Tencent launched WeBank (China), China's first online-only bank. On 30 January 2015, Tencent announced that it had signed a US$700 million deal with the National Basketball Association to stream American basketball games in China. Later that year, Chinese automaker BYD became the chief corporate sponsor for Tencent's NBA broadcasts. On 21 June 2016 Tencent announced a deal to acquire 84.3% of Supercell, developer of Clash of Clans, with US$8.6 billion. In July 2016, Tencent acquired a majority stake in China Music Corporation.

In 2016, Tencent, together with Foxconn and luxury-car dealer Harmony New Energy Auto founded Future Mobility, a car startup (now defunct) that aimed to sell all-electric fully autonomous premium cars. On 28 March 2017, Tesla, Inc. announced Tencent had purchased a 5% stake in Tesla for US$1.78 billion, the automotive control systems of which it subsequently successfully performed penetration-testing until 2019.

In May 2017, Tencent surpassed Wells Fargo to enter the world's top 10 most valuable companies. Tencent has also entered an agreement with the Wuhu City Council to build the world's first eSports town in the city, which comprises an eSports theme park, eSports university, a cultural and creative park, an animation industrial park, creative block, tech entrepreneurial community and Tencent Cloud's data center.

On 11 January 2022, it was announced that Tencent was in talks to acquire Xiaomi-backed Black Shark, one of the largest gaming smartphone makers in China. The acquisition would have been Tencent's first in a hardware maker and would have overseen Black Shark's transition into a manufacturer of VR headsets to support Tencent's plans for its metaverse business in the future. Reports initially suggested that Black Shark would be acquired for RMB 2.7 billion (US$420 million), although Tencent walked away from the deal due to regulatory scrutiny of metaverse businesses in China.

In June 2022, Tencent posted its slowest revenue gain since going public in 2004, partly caused by a 15% decrease in advertising revenue. The decline was attributed to the pandemic and tighter regulations imposed by the Chinese government.

In September 2022, Tencent acquired a 49.9% stake and 5% voting rights in Guillemot Brothers Limited, Ubisoft's parent company.

On 16 September 2022, Tencent took a minority stake in Mordhau studio Triternion.

In November 2022, Tencent announced that it would divest the majority of its US$20.3 billion stake in Meituan through a dividend distribution to shareholders, in part due to China's earlier regulatory crackdown on tech giants.


Mission

The mission of Tencent, a leading technology company based in China, is to enhance the quality of life through technology and innovation. They aim to achieve this by providing a range of digital services and products, including social media, entertainment, gaming, e-commerce, and online payment solutions, that enrich and empower people's lives. 

Tencent is committed to developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions that enable people to connect, communicate, and transact in more efficient, convenient, and secure ways. They also strive to be a responsible corporate citizen, promoting sustainable development and making positive contributions to society. Overall, Tencent's mission is to use technology to make the world a better place for everyone.


Vision

The vision of Tencent is to be a leading technology company that transforms industries and enriches people's lives through innovation, creativity, and social responsibility. They envision a world where technology is seamlessly integrated into every aspect of people's lives, enabling them to connect, communicate, and create in ways that were previously unimaginable. 

Tencent aspires to be a pioneer in emerging technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and IoT, and to leverage these technologies to create new opportunities and enhance people's experiences. Additionally, they aim to be a responsible corporate citizen, promoting sustainability, diversity, and inclusion, and giving back to the communities in which they operate. 


Key Team

Ma Huateng (Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO)

Xu Chenye (Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer)

Lau Chi Ping (Executive Director and President)

Ren Yuxin (Chief Operating Officer, President of Interactive Entertainment Group, President of Platform & Content Group)

James Mitchell (Chief Strategy Officer, Senior Executive Vice President)

David Wallerstein (Chief Exploration Officer)

John Lo (Chief financial Officer)

Zhang Zhidong (Co-Founder, Advisor Emeritus)


Recognition and Awards
Forbes Global 2000: Tencent consistently ranks highly in the Forbes Global 2000 list, which recognizes the world's largest and most powerful public companies. It has been recognized for its market value, revenue, profits, and assets, demonstrating its strong position in the global business landscape. BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands: Tencent has been consistently featured in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list, which highlights the most valuable and influential brands worldwide. FT Global 500: Tencent has been recognized in the FT Global 500, a list compiled by the Financial Times that identifies the world's largest companies based on market capitalization. Asia's Fab 50 Companies: Tencent has been honored as one of Asia's Fab 50 Companies by Forbes. This list highlights the top 50 companies in the Asia-Pacific region that exhibit strong growth, profitability, and innovative strategies. China's Most Valuable Brands: Tencent has consistently been recognized as one of China's most valuable brands by various organizations and publications. Game Awards: Tencent's gaming division, Tencent Games, has received numerous awards and accolades for its outstanding game development and publishing. Its games, such as "Honor of Kings," "League of Legends," and "PUBG Mobile," have garnered critical acclaim and recognition in the gaming industry, earning accolades for their gameplay, graphics, and innovation.

Products and Services

WeChat: Tencent's flagship product, WeChat, is a multi-purpose messaging, social media, and mobile payment app. With over a billion monthly active users, WeChat allows users to send messages, make voice and video calls, share photos and videos, play games, and access a wide range of services such as shopping, banking, and ride-hailing.

QQ: QQ is a popular instant messaging software that provides a platform for users to connect and communicate via text, voice, and video. QQ also offers features like online gaming, music streaming, and social networking, making it a comprehensive communication platform in China.

Tencent Games: Tencent has a significant presence in the gaming industry. It operates a wide portfolio of games, including popular titles like "Honor of Kings," "League of Legends," "PUBG Mobile," and "Fortnite." Tencent Games caters to a global audience and is known for its innovation, strategic partnerships, and high-quality gaming experiences.

Tencent Video: Tencent's online video platform, Tencent Video, offers a vast library of licensed and original content, including movies, TV dramas, variety shows, and documentaries. It has collaborations with major studios and produces its own exclusive content, attracting millions of viewers in China.

Tencent Music Entertainment: Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) is a leading online music streaming platform in China. TME provides access to a vast music library, including both domestic and international artists, and offers various subscription plans for users to enjoy music on-demand.

E-commerce: Tencent operates several e-commerce platforms, including JD.com and Pinduoduo, in which it holds significant ownership stakes. These platforms enable users to purchase a wide range of products, from electronics to fashion, and benefit from Tencent's integrated payment solutions.

Cloud Services: Tencent Cloud offers a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Tencent Cloud serves businesses of all sizes, providing them with scalable, secure, and reliable cloud solutions.


References
Tencent
Leadership team

Xu Chenye (Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer)

Lau Chi Ping (Executive Director and President)

Ren Yuxin (Chief Operating Officer, President of Interactive Entertainment Group, President of Platform & Content Group)

James Mitchell (Chief Strategy Officer, Senior Executive Vice President)

Industries

Media and Communications

Technology

Products/ Services
Advertising, Internet, Mobile, Online Games, Online Portals, Social Media Marketing
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
Tencent Building, Zhongqu First Road, Hi-Tech Park, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518054
Established
1998
Company Type
Public Limited Company
Company Registration
SEC CIK #0001293451
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
TCEHY
Social Media

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Fri Mar 01 2024
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