Asia’s most powerful company. That’s a daring thing to say about Tencent, but it’s a daring truth.
Many of the companies that popped up during the dot com bubble ended up popping. Tencent didn’t flit away into nothing, instead it built a rock-solid foundation that has only grown since it was founded in 1998.
The two towers of Tencent in Shenzhen, China are iconic. Commonly known as the Tencent Binhai Mansion or the Tencent Seafront Towers, these two buildings house the heart of the Tencent global empire.
Funded by venture capitalists, Tencent was actually founded in the Cayman Islands by five Chinese businessmen – Zeng Liqing, Zhang Zhidong, Ma Huateng, Chen Yidan, and Xu Chenye. Though the company didn’t turn a profit for three years, it was sustained with venture capital and investments from companies like South African media corporation Naspers.
A major scandal for the Tencent Corporation has been its struggle with copying claims. It ran into trouble with its signature messaging app, QQ, due to naming rights held by AOL’s instant messenger ICQ. QQ was originally called OCIQ, however it had to change its name after AOL successfully sued it for intellectual property infringement.
Jack Ma of Tencent’s rival Alibaba once stated that the problem with Tencent was that all of their products were merely copies of other products.
Tencents notoriety for copying other software and products is worldwide. It is also known for innovating on those products in order to cater to the taste of its primarily Chinese customer base. The company owns more than three hundred patents for its original material.
Online and Beyond
The subsidiaries of Tencent specialize in web related products and services. It’s got interests in entertainment, technology, and artificial intelligence. The company has both Chinese based and global products.
Some of the most pertinent areas of reach for Tencent include:
- The world’s largest gaming company
- Third largest social media company
- Top venture capital and investment firms
- Top technology company worldwide
Since its founding, Tencent has expanded well beyond simple social media and messaging. A few of its largest services include:
- Internet services
- Mobile gaming
- Web portals
- Entertainment production
- Multiplayer online games
- Space technology
- Renewable energy
- Courier services
- Cloud computing
- Automobile technology
- Financial services
- Ride sharing
- Artificial intelligence
The majority of music services in China are owned by Tencent. These services have more than one hundred and twenty million paid subscribers and more than seven hundred million active users. Those numbers blow almost everyone else out of the water.
It’s one of Asia’s most valuable companies, perhaps the most valuable company in Asia depending on the metric used to measure that value. By market value, it’s one of the world’s most valuable technology companies.
The company thrives on innovation, and that’s led it to hold the number five spot in global brand value. With hundreds of subsidiaries and associations in all kinds of areas of industry, Tencent has a broad appeal and a stable foundation for its future business. Tencent owns stakes in more than six hundred companies. With this kind of broad base and intertwined services, Tencent is inarguably a company that is built to last.