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TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED (Chinese : 腾讯控股有限公司; pinyin : TéNGXùN Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī; literally: "Soaring information"; SEHK : 700) is a Chinese investment holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries provide media , entertainment , social network , payment systems , smartphones , internet-related services , value-added services , e-commerce , artificial intelligence , property services , and online advertising services, both in China
China
and globally. Its twin-skyscrapers headquarters Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in Nanshan District , Shenzhen
Shenzhen
, and has received several awards for its architecture.

As of November 2017, the company has a market cap of US$531 billion (HK$4.15 trillion), and is Asia's most valuable company, with continued revenue growth, massive user base and investments into new areas. On 20 November 2017, it became the first Asian company to cross the US$500 billion valuation mark, and has also surpassed Facebook
Facebook
to become the world's most valuable social media company, while joining the ranks of the top 5 biggest firms in the world alongside Apple , Alphabet , Microsoft
Microsoft
and Amazon . Tencent has been credited as one of the world's most innovative companies by numerous media and firms, such as Boston Consulting Group .

Tencent is one of the biggest investment corporations, one of the largest Internet
Internet
companies , as well as the largest, best-performing and most valuable gaming and entertainment company in the world. Its many services include social network , music , web portals , e-commerce , mobile games , internet services , payment systems , smartphones , and multiplayer online games , which are all among the world's biggest and most successful in their respective categories. Offerings in China
China
include the well-known instant messenger Tencent QQ and one of the largest web portals , QQ.com. Its mobile chat service WeChat has helped bolster Tencent's continued expansion into smartphone services. It also owns majority of China
China
's music services ( Tencent Music), with more than 600 million active users, the world's largest and most profitable.

Tencent controls hundreds of subsidiaries and associates in numerous industries and areas, creating a broad portfolio of ownerships and investment across a wide diversity of companies. It is one of the most active investment corporations in the world, with recent focus on start-ups within Asia
Asia
’s burgeoning tech scene.

The company employs more than 7000 active Communist Party members, 60 percent of which in leading technical positions throughout the firm, accounting for roughly 23 percent of its total work force.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 1998-2010: Founding and growth * 1.2 2011-2014: Early investments * 1.3 2015-2017: Recent investments

* 2 Game development * 3 Virtual goods * 4 Business locations

* 5 Products and services

* 5.1 Virtual reality headsets * 5.2 iTQQ * 5.3 Multiplayer online games * 5.4 Music
Music
distribution * 5.5 PaiPai.com * 5.6 QQ Haiwai

* 5.7 QQ instant messenger

* 5.7.1 QQ International
International

* 5.8 QQLive * 5.9 QQ Show * 5.10 QQ Player * 5.11 Qzone * 5.12 SOSO * 5.13 Tencent Pictures * 5.14 Tencent Traveler * 5.15 Tencent Weibo * 5.16 Tencent Weiyun * 5.17 TenPay * 5.18 WeChat

* 6 Subsidiaries

* 6.1 Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd

* 7 Controversy

* 7.1 Copying claims * 7.2 Anti-malware software cheating allegations * 7.3 Criticism on King of Glory

* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

HISTORY

1998-2010: FOUNDING AND GROWTH

Tencent was founded by Ma Huateng
Ma Huateng
, Zhang Zhidong , Xu Chenye, Chen Yidan and Zeng Liqing in November 1998 as Tencent Inc. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
, initial funding was provided to it by venture capitalists . In February 1999, Tencent's iconic messenger product O ICQ
ICQ
released. Shortly after, Tencent had its name changed to QQ; this was said to be due to a lawsuit threat from ICQ
ICQ
and its owner AOL . The company remained unprofitable for the first three years. South African media company Naspers purchased a 46.5% share of Tencent in 2001. (As of 2014, it owns 34%. ) Tencent Holding Ltd was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Hong Kong Stock Exchange
on 16 June 2004, and it was added as a Hang Seng Index
Hang Seng Index
Constituent Stock in 2008. The company originally derived income solely from advertising and premium users of QQ, who pay monthly fees to receive added extras. But by 2005, charging for use of QQ mobile, its cellular value-added service , and licensing its iconic 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 least two, CrossFire and Dungeon Fighter Online , were originally produced by South Korean game developers, Tencent now makes its own games.

2011-2014: EARLY INVESTMENTS

On February 18, 2011, Tencent acquired a majority equity interest (92.78%) in Riot Games , developer of League of Legends , for about USD 230 million. Tencent had already held 22.34% of the equity interest out of a previous investment in 2008. On the 16th December 2015, Riot Games sold its remaining equity to Tencent Holdings. Tencent acquired a minority stake in Epic Games , developer of franchises like Unreal , Gears of War and Infinity Blade , in June 2012. 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 USD 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 September 17, 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 January 15, 2014, Tencent said it will invest HKD 1.5 billion (USD 193.45 million) in logistics and warehouse firm China
China
South City Holdings Ltd to develop its e-commerce and logistics business. On February 27, 2014, Tencent purchased a 20-percent stake in restaurant ratings and group buying website Dianping for $400 million. On March 10, 2014, Tencent bought a 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce website JD.com
JD.com
Inc. by paying cash and handing over its e-commerce businesses Paipai, QQ Wanggou and a stake in Yixun to JD.com
JD.com
to build a stronger competitor to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. On May 22, 2014, JD.com
JD.com
got listed on NASDAQ and Tencent expanded its stake in the company to 17.43% on a fully diluted basis by investing an additional USD 1,325 million. On March 27, 2014, it was announced that Tencent had agreed to pay about $500 million for a 28 percent stake in South Korea’s CJ Games. On June 27, 2014, Tencent announced that it had agreed to buy a 19.9 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce website 58.com (WUBA) Inc. for $736 million. On April 17, 2015, Tencent announced it has bought an additional $400 million worth of shares, rising its stake in the company to about 25%. On October 16, 2014, via its wholly held subsidiary Hongze Lake Investment Ltd, Tencent announced that it had bought a 7% stake in lottery technology firm China
China
LotSynergy Holdings Ltd for HKD 445.5 million (USD 57.4 million). On October 23, 2014, Tencent pitched in $145 million for a 10 percent stake in Koudai Gouwu, a Chinese mobile shopping portal. In November 2014, the company announced a deal with HBO
HBO
which would give it exclusive rights for distribution in China. On December 9, 2014, Chinese taxi-hailing app Didi Dache announced that it had raised more than $700 million in a funding round led by Tencent and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings.

2015-2017: RECENT INVESTMENTS

On January, 2015, Tencent launches WeBank (China) , China's first online-only bank. On January 30, 2015, Tencent announced that it had signed a USD 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 February 27, 2015, Tencent announced that it had acquired a minority stake in Robot Entertainment
Entertainment
, the developer of the Orcs Must Die! series. On April 29, 2015, Tencent acquired a minority stake in Glu Mobile , paying USD 126 million for 14.6 percent of the company. On May 13, 2015, Tencent acquired a minority stake in mobile developer Pocket Gems, acquiring 20 percent of the company for the price of USD 60 million. On June 21, 2016 Tencent announced a deal to acquire 84.3% of Supercell with USD 8.6 billion. In July 2016, Tencent acquired a majority stake in China
China
Music
Music
Corporation. In 2016, Tencent, together with Foxconn and luxury-car dealer Harmony New Energy Auto founded Future Mobility , a car startup that aims to sell all-electric fully autonomous premium cars in 2020. On March 28, 2017, Tesla, Inc. announced Tencent had purchased a 5% stake in Tesla for USD 1.78 billion. The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
at the time called Tencent China's "most valuable company." In a "direct challenge to Chinese search engine Baidu
Baidu
," in May 2017 Tencent entered news feed and search functions for its WeChat app, which the Financial Times reported was used by 770 million people at the time.

In April 2017, Tencent unveiled its very own flagship gaming platform, WEGAME which will host games, content, and services from all over the world and will provide gaming info, purchases, downloads, live streaming and community services, creating an open ecosystem for gaming . WeGame is an upgraded version of TGP ( Tencent Games Platform) that already has more than 200 million active users (compared to Steam 's 125 million) and over 4.5 billion downloads, and is widely considered as a direct competitor to Steam. It will be dedicated to both global developers and players, and will assist developers who require help with translation. The gaming platform will support both Chinese and global users through a single storefront and is due to go online on 1st September 2017, Tencent has stated that the platform will focus on PC and standalone games and will no longer host web or mobile games, and will provide support to small and indie companies. Aside from mainstream games, the company has promised to also launch titles which includes Stardew Valley , Rocket League , Portal Knights , Minecraft , Cities: Skylines , with 170 games promised by the end of 2017. There are expectations that WeGame will grow huge and successful globally with its new focus on Western users, combined with the massive buying power of today’s Asian consumers.

In May 2017, Tencent surpassed Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
to enter the world's top 10 most valuable companies. Tencent has also entered an agreement with Wuhu City Council to build the world's first eSports town in the Chinese city of Wuhu , which comprises an eSports theme park, eSports university, cultural and creative park, animation industrial park, creative block, tech entrepreneurial community and Tencent Cloud's data center. The site will be used for the education and accommodation of future eSports players, as well as hosting national eSports events and serving as a hub for Tencent's game development. Aside from Wuhu, another eSports theme park has been planned in Chengdu
Chengdu
.

In June 2017, Tencent became the 8th most valuable company in BrandZ 's Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, signalling its growing influence globally as well as the rise of Chinese brands. Alibaba overtook Tencent as Asia's most valuable company as its stocks surged after the company hosted its 2017 Investor's day. The company has also developed its own voice assistant Xiaowei, and is in the midst of discussion to acquire Rovio Entertainment
Entertainment
, the developer of Angry Birds . At the same period, Tencent introduced its MINI-PROGRAMS feature that allows smartphone users to access mobile apps across the globe on WeChat without downloading them.

In July 2017, Tencent bought a 9% share in Frontier Developments , the creator of the Elite: Dangerous and Planet Coaster franchises; as well as developer for Rollercoaster Tycoon
Rollercoaster Tycoon
2 "> In 2011, Tencent started hosting the game League of Legends . Tencent's mobile game Honor of Kings was the most downloaded app in the world on the IOS
IOS
App Store in the first quarter of 2017.

VIRTUAL GOODS

Tencent sells virtual goods for use in their MMOs , its IM client, social networking sites, and for mobile phones. Income from the sale of virtual goods was a large proportion of Tencent's revenue in 2009.

Tencent's online currency, QQ Coins, can be used to purchase virtual goods. These range from the offbeat, such as virtual pets and the virtual clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics needed to customize online-game avatars , to the more mundane, such as more storage space, wallpapers, bigger photo albums, and ring tones.

BUSINESS LOCATIONS

Tencent's headquarters are located in the Southern Hi-Tech Park District (Chinese : 新科技园 xīnkējìyuán) in Nanshan District , Shenzhen
Shenzhen
. Among other notable sites are a 48,000 square meter compound that houses an R&D center in the Chengdu
Chengdu
Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, a data and R Dungeon Fighter Online , a side-scrolling online fighting game; QQ Fantasy, a 2D online game that incorporates elements from Chinese mythology; Xunxian, a 3D, online RPG ; QQ Three Kingdoms , an online casual role playing game set during the historical three kingdoms period; QQ Huaxia, an online RPG; QQ Dancer, an online musical dancing game that offers QQ IM interactivity; QQ Nanaimo, an online game set on a desert island where players maintain houses and pets; QQ Speed, a casual online racing game; QQ R2Beat, an online in-line skating game; QQ Tang, an "advanced casual game" with gameplay derived from Chinese literature; QQ PET, a QQ IM-based desktop virtual pet game and three online first-person shooters ; War of Zombie , CrossFire and AVA.

In 2017, April 21, Tencent announced the rebranding of its Chinese ' Tencent game platform' as WeGame , which will be going global in July 2017

MUSIC DISTRIBUTION

In 2014, Tencent established exclusive in- China
China
distribution agreements with several large music producers, including Sony
Sony
, Warner Music
Music
Group and YG Entertainment
Entertainment
and in 2017 it signed a deal with Universal Music
Music
Group to stream its music in China.

PAIPAI.COM

Launched on March 13, 2006, PaiPai.com (Chinese : 拍拍二手; pinyin : pāi pāi èr shǒu) was a C2C auction site. It was shut down on April 1, 2016 and the site redirects to JD.com
JD.com
.

QQ HAIWAI

haiwai.house.qq.com is Tencent's first venture into international real estate listings and information and is the result of a partnership with Chinese international real estate website Juwai.com . Haiwai was announced at Tencent's annual regional summit in Beijing on 21 December 2017.

QQ INSTANT MESSENGER

Main article: Tencent QQ

Launched in February 1999, and Tencent's most notable product, QQ is one of the most popular instant messaging platforms in its home market. As of December 31, 2010, there were 647.6 million active Tencent QQ IM user accounts, making Tencent QQ the world's largest online community at the time. The number of QQ accounts connected simultaneously has, at times, exceeded 100 million.

While the IM service is free, as of 2006 a fee was being charged for mobile messaging.

QQ International

An English version of QQ that allows communication with mainland accounts, QQi is available for Windows and Mac OSX.

QQLIVE

Main article: QQLive

A peer-to-peer distribution platform for streaming media.

QQ SHOW

An avatar-based social platform like Cyworld
Cyworld
, QQ Show facilitates purchasing virtual goods to outfit avatars , which can also be used with QQ IM.

QQ PLAYER

In 2008, Tencent released a media player, available for free download, under the name QQ Player.

QZONE

Main article: Qzone

A social networking service, which as of 2008 became one of the largest company in China.

SOSO

Main article: Soso.com
Soso.com

Launched in March 2006, this search engine's name sounds like "Chinese : 搜搜", or "search search" in Chinese. It was a Chinese partner of Google
Google
, using AdWords
AdWords
.

TENCENT PICTURES

Main article: Tencent Pictures

TENCENT PICTURES (Chinese : 腾讯影业) is a Chinese film production company owned by Tencent. It has created film based on books , comic books , animated series and video games .

TENCENT TRAVELER

Abbreviated "TT" (TencentTraveler), this web browser developed by Tencent is based on Trident
Trident
and was the third most-used browser in China
China
c. 2008.

TENCENT WEIBO

Main article: Tencent Weibo

A Chinese microblogging service, Tencent Weibo competes with Sina Weibo .

TENCENT WEIYUN

A cloud storage service that offers 10 GB of free storage (1 TB until Jan 16, 2017). It is available in Chinese for free, and English with a payment. Requires an SMS phone number for verification of account registration.

TENPAY

An online payment system similar to PayPal, it supports B2B , B2C , and C2C payments. In some Chinese cities individuals can use TenPay for utility payments and to refill their public transport cards. Co-branded credit cards are available, and credit card bills can also be paid using the service. Offline recharging of your TenPay account is possible, as the company sends employees to collect customer money in person.

Tencent was reported in 2017 to be working with China\'s Central Bank to develop a central payments clearing platform for online payments. If successful, this move would incur greater regulatory oversight.

WECHAT

Main article: WeChat

WeChat is a social mobile application with voice and text messaging, timeline, and several social features like drift a bottle. It is the most popular social mobile application in China
China
and some overseas Chinese communities, for instance, Malaysia
Malaysia
. WeChat would like to have expanded more abroad but, as of 2017, WeChat was unsuccessful in penetrating major international markets outside of China.

SUBSIDIARIES

Tencent has at least four wholly foreign owned enterprises and nearly twenty subsidiaries.

TENCENT TECHNOLOGY (SHENZHEN) CO LTD

A software development unit that has created, among others, Tencent Traveler and later versions of QQ IM, as well as some mobile software . This subsidiary is located on the Southern District of Hi-Tech Park, Shenzhen
Shenzhen
. It also holds a number of patents related to instant messaging and massively multiplayer online game gaming.

CONTROVERSY

COPYING CLAIMS

Many of Tencent's software and services are remarkably similar to those of competitors. The founder and chairman , Huateng "Pony Ma" Ma , famously said, " copy is not evil." A former CEO and President of SINA.com
SINA.com
, Wang Zhidong , said, "Pony Ma is a notorious king of copying." Jack Ma of Alibaba Group stated, "The problem with Tencent is the lack of innovation; all of their products are copies."

As of 2009, the company held 400 patents.

ANTI-MALWARE SOFTWARE CHEATING ALLEGATIONS

In 2015, security testing firms AV-Comparatives , AV-TEST and Virus Bulletin jointly decided to remove Tencent from their software whitelists . The Tencent products supplied for testing were found to contain optimizations that made the software appear less exploitable when benchmarked but actually provided greater scope for delivering exploits. Additionally, software settings were detrimental to end-users protection if used. Qihoo was later also accused of cheating, while Tencent was accused of actively gaming the anti-malware tests.

CRITICISM ON KING OF GLORY

The People\'s Daily published two articles criticizing the Tencent owned game King of Glory, due to its purportedly addictive nature among Chinese youth. Share prices for Tencent drop dramatically by 5% on the days the articles were published.

SEE ALSO

* China
China
portal * Companies portal * Internet
Internet
portal

* Tencent Video * Tencent QQ * Tencent Weibo * Foxmail * Pengyou * Qzone * List of virtual communities with more than 100 million users

REFERENCES

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Facebook
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Facebook
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* ^ Abkowitz, Alyssa (2017-10-19). "Three Cheers for Xi Jinping! Wait, Make That a Billion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660 . Retrieved 2017-10-20. * ^ Frank (May 16, 2016). " Tencent Unveiled A Windows 10 Based Game Console In China". InsideGamesAsia. * ^ A B C Yang, Yuan (2017-05-18). "Tencent\'s mobile gaming dominance helps profits soar". Financial Times. p. 15. Retrieved 2017-05-18. (Subscription required (help)). * ^ "Cashing in on virtual goods - Techland". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. * ^ TenCent Reaches New Heights in Virtual Goods Sales insidesocialgames.com, March 31st, 2009 * ^ A B Tencent Tells its Story at Virtual Goods Summit Archived 2009-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
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R&D Center JLM Pacific Epoch, Apr 09, 2009 * ^ Tencent\'s Tianjin R&D Center Ready in 2013 JLM Pacific Epoch, Mar 13, 2009 * ^ DI SCLOSEABLE TRANSACTI ON PURCHASE OF PROPERTY Archived 2010-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
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Developers Bring Mobile Widgets to Market Archived 2009-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
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