Tencent Holdings Limited (Chinese: 腾讯控股有限公司; pinyin:
Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī; SEHK: 700) is a Chinese
multinational investment holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries
specialize in various Internet-related services and products,
entertainment, AI and technology both in
China and globally. Its
Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as
Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
Tencent is the world's biggest investment corporation, one of the
Internet and technology companies, as well as the largest and
most valuable gaming (
Tencent Games) and social media 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.
China include the well-known instant messenger
and one of the largest web portals, QQ.com. Its mobile chat service
WeChat has helped bolster Tencent's continued expansion into
smartphone services, and has been credited as one of the world's most
powerful apps. It also owns the majority of China's music services
Music Entertainment), with more than 700 million active users
and 120 million paying subscribers, the world's largest and most
As of January 2018, the company has a market value of US$580 billion
(HK$4.48 trillion), and is Asia's most valuable company, with
continued revenue growth, massive user base and investments into new
areas. It maintained an exceedingly high buy rating of 98% from stock
watchers, credited to its bullish outlook. It is the first Asian
company to cross the US$500 billion valuation mark, while surpassing
Facebook in market value on 20 November 2017, and became the world's
most valuable social media company.
been credited as one of the world's most innovative companies by
numerous media and firms, such as Boston Consulting
Tencent controls hundreds of subsidiaries and associates in numerous
industries and areas, creating a broad portfolio of ownerships and
investment across a diverse range of businesses including e-commerce,
retail, video gaming, real estate, software, virtual reality,
ride-sharing, banking, financial services, fintech, consumer
technology, computer technology, automobile, film production, movie
ticketing, music production, space technology, natural resources,
smartphones, big data, agriculture, medical services, cloud computing,
social media, IT, advertising, streaming media, artificial
intelligence, robotics, UAVs, food delivery, courier services, e-book,
internet services, education and renewable energy. It is one of
the most active investment corporations in the world, with recent
focus on start-ups within Asia’s burgeoning tech scene.
1.1 1998-2010: Founding and growth
1.2 2011-2014: Early investments
1.3 2015-2018: Recent investments
2 Game development
3 Virtual goods
4 Business locations
5 Products and services
Virtual reality headsets
5.3 Multiplayer online games
5.6 QQ Haiwai
5.7 QQ instant messenger
5.7.1 QQ International
5.9 QQ Show
5.10 QQ Player
Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd
7.1 Copying claims
7.2 Anti-malware software cheating allegations
7.3 Criticism on King of Glory
8 See also
10 External links
1998-2010: Founding and growth
Tencent was founded by Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Chen
Yidan and Zeng Liqing in November 1998 as
Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, initial funding was provided
to it by venture capitalists. In February 1999, Tencent's iconic
messenger product O
ICQ released. Shortly after,
Tencent had its
name changed to QQ; this was said to be due to a lawsuit threat from
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
Tencent Holding Ltd was listed on the Hong Kong Stock
Exchange on 16 June 2004, and it was added as a 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
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
Riot Games sold its remaining equity to Tencent
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 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
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. On May 22,
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
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
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
Tencent announced that it had bought a 7% stake in
lottery technology firm
China LotSynergy Holdings Ltd for HKD 445.5
million (USD 57.4 million). On October 23, 2014,
in $145 million for a 10 percent stake in Koudai Gouwu, a Chinese
mobile shopping portal. In November 2014, the company announced a
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
Tencent and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek
2015-2018: Recent investments
On January, 2015,
Tencent launches We
Bank (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, the developer of the Orcs Must
Die! videogame series.At the same time,
Brand Finance releases
2017 Global Top 500 Brands List,
Tencent ranked 47th. On April 29,
Tencent acquired a minority stake in videogame developer and
publisher 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 Finland-based videogame developer Supercell
with USD 8.6 billion. In July 2016,
Tencent acquired a majority
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
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
Tencent China's "most valuable company." In a "direct
challenge to Chinese search engine Baidu," in May 2017
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 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 1 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 include Stardew Valley, Rocket League,
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
In May 2017,
Wells Fargo to enter the world's top 10
most valuable companies.
Tencent has also entered an
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.
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
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, 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 2 & 3. In September
Tencent invested US$90 million in German aviation start-up
Lilium Aviation, which specializes in developing and building high
speed flying vehicles and electric jets.
In August 2017,After
Tencent announced the second quarter 2016
financial report, the stock price rise by 6% in the Hong Kong stock
market, and the market value has reached USD 249 billion. Tencent
became the second Asian company after
Alibaba Group to surpass US$400
billion market cap.
Tencent has also created an alliance to its
own AI self-driving program, similar to Baidu's Apollo Project,
recruiting numerous industry players in the automotive
In September 2017,
Tencent has announced plans to introduce Chinese
online comics to every market around the world, with the first being
North America. It will be working with San Francisco-based digital
publisher Tapas Media, a partnership that will see English-language
releases of a number of popular online Chinese titles. It also
enters a partnership with
Alibaba Group on music-streaming rights
sharing, the deal aims to protect licensed streaming services offering
copyrighted content of the music industry, encouraging more
high-quality and original music, as well as developing China’s
fast-growing streaming market. Alibaba will gain the rights to stream
music from international labels, which already have exclusive deals
with Tencent, in return for offering reciprocal rights to its
catalogue of Chinese and Japanese music.
Tencent plans to
increase its advertising revenues through artificial intelligence and
branded virtual costumes in video games. It is also collaborating
with L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics company, to explore
digital marketing under the Joint Business Partnership (JBP) agreement
and unleash new marketing innovations.
Tencent has announced a partnership with
Nintendo to publish its
widely popular game
Honor of Kings
Honor of Kings (King of Glory) into Nintendo
Switch, causing Nintendo's stock to hit a 9-year-high, as well as
JD.com to create and sell a line of merchandise (from clothing to
accessories to other products), based on Tencent's games and
intellectual properties. It will also be working with
International Capital Corporation (CICC) in financial services,
capitalizing on each other’s strength, while acquiring a 5% equity
stake in the investment banking firm. The announcement of the deal
propelled CICC's shares by as much as 16 percent. Tencent
Pictures unveiled that it intends to expand cooperation with overseas
film and TV companies on new productions, as well as making more
long-term investment in the movie and TV industry.
Tencent has also
signed an agreement with
Helsinki and World Tourism
to provide intelligent tourism services to Chinese tourists, with
Helsinki serving as an intelligent tourism model for China's outbound
In November 2017,
Tencent revealed that it had purchased a 12% stake
in Snap Inc in the open market, with plans to help establish Snapchat
as a gaming platform. The company also owns 44%
stake in Sogou, a search engine company which started trading in New
York on November 9, 2017.
Tencent remained the largest video game
publisher in the world by revenue, and had a market capitalization of
around $475 billion. In the same month,
Tencent announced the
company's Q3 results that exceeded optimistic expectations with
skyrocketing sales, net income and gaming revenue, while Wechat
reached 980 million monthly active users. It will be earmarking
billions of dollars to amass a catalogue of user-generated content, in
competition with Youtube. The company also broke records by
becoming the first Asian company to cross US$500 billion valuation,
Facebook to enter the top 5 list of the world's biggest
On 22 November 2017,
Tencent formally entered into a strategic
cooperation with PUBG corporation and obtain exclusive rights to
operate ''Playerunknown's Battlegrounds'' in China. On 23
Tencent and Hong Kong railway Co.,Ltd fomally signed a
cooperation agreement. The two parties cooperated on
WeChat Pay HK (
WeChat Hong Kong Wallet) in mobile payment business
In December 2017, Tencent's music arm,
Spotify agreed to swap 10% stake and invested in each
other's music businesses, forming an alliance in the music industry in
which Martin Lau (president of Tencent) described it as a "strategic
In January 2018,
Tencent and The Lego Group, the world's largest toy
company, are teaming up to jointly develop online games and
potentially a social network aimed at children. It also launched
its first unmanned shop in Shanghai, joining the likes of other major
e-commerce companies including Alibaba, Amazon and JD.com, receiving
over 30,000 visitors in the first two days of its opening.
Tencent led a US$5.4 billion investment in Wanda Commercial, together
Sunac and Suning Group, to acquire shares in the
conglomerate. Wanda Commercial will be renamed as Wanda Commercial
Management Group, with its new investors on the board, it represents
one of the world’s largest single strategic investments between
internet companies and brick-and-mortar commercial giants.
Tencent bought a 5% to 10% minority stake in Skydance Media.
On January 23, 2018,
Carrefour reach strategic cooperation
agreement in China. 
Tencent said it is looking forward to
Carrefour to further enrich the retail and service
experience of its users and to strengthen Carrefour's services with
Tencent's technological capabilities such as mobile payments, digital
affiliate programs, customer acquisition and cloud services.
Carrefour and RT-Mart, Ali chose RT-Mart. This is a great
Carrefour and Tencent. So it took only two months and the two
parties reached a cooperation. Tencent's stock also rise 3.17% on the
day to close at HKD474.6. 
In March 2018,
Tencent has acquired a 5% stake in
For the occasion of the 19th National Party Congress,
a mobile game titled "Clap for Xi Jinping: An Awesome Speech”, in
which players have 19 seconds to generate as many claps as possible
Starting in 2016,
Tencent developed a video gaming console dubbed TGP
Tencent Gaming Platform) Box. The TGP BOX is called the Blade. It is
an Intel- powered console running Windows 10 and a TGP Box mode. So
far, the TGP console has imported many
Tencent games, such as League
of Legends, FIFA Online 3, NBA 2K, Monster Hunter, Need for Speed,
Tencent hopes to bring third-party developed games.
Branching out from messaging products, Tencent's first game was QQ
Tang (QQ堂) in 2004. This was soon followed QQ YinSu (QQ音速) in
2006 and QQ SanGuo(QQ三国) in 2007. In 2011,
Tencent started hosting the game League of Legends. Tencent's mobile
Honor of Kings
Honor of Kings was the most downloaded app in the world on the
IOS App Store in the first quarter of 2017.
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.
Tencent's headquarters are located in the Southern Hi-Tech Park
District (Chinese: 新科技园 xīnkējìyuán) in Nanshan District,
Shenzhen. Among other notable sites are a 48,000 square
meter compound that houses an R&D center in the
Industrial Development Zone, a data and R&D center in
Tianjin's Binhai Service Outsourcing
Industry Park that is expected to
be finished by June 2013, and also some 17,646 square meters of
Shanghai office space purchased through a subsidiary,
(Tianjin), and located in the
Spotify are facing threat from Tencent, especially in
South-East Asia. Also,
Tencent is expanding aggressively in
Products and services
Tencent offers a diverse mix of services and counts both consumers and
businesses as customers.
Virtual reality headsets
In late April 2017,
Tencent announced it was preparing to launch its
virtual reality headset that year.
China's first "smart interactive television service" and a joint
effort with TCL.
Multiplayer online games
Tencent used to offer a number of online, multiplayer games through
its game portal QQ Games.
These massively multiplayer online games include
Call of Duty
Call of Duty Online,
Massively multiplayer online game
Massively multiplayer online game that consists of previous Call of
Duty titles with added content; 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
Tencent established exclusive in-
agreements with several large music producers, including Sony, Warner
Music Group and YG Entertainment and in 2017 it signed a deal
Music Group to stream its music in China.
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.
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
QQ instant messenger
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
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
An English version of QQ that allows communication with mainland
accounts, QQi is available for Windows and Mac OSX.
Main article: QQLive
A peer-to-peer distribution platform for streaming media.
An avatar-based social platform like Cyworld, QQ Show facilitates
purchasing virtual goods to outfit avatars, which can also be used
with QQ IM.
Tencent released a media player, available for free download,
under the name QQ Player.
Main article: Qzone
A social networking service, which as of 2008 became one of the
largest company in China.
Main article: 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, using AdWords.
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.
Abbreviated "TT" (TencentTraveler), this web browser developed by
Tencent is based on Trident and was the third most-used
China c. 2008.
A Chinese microblogging service,
Tencent Weibo competes with Sina
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
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
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
some overseas Chinese communities, for instance, Malaysia. WeChat
would like to have expanded more abroad but, as of 2017, WeChat
was unsuccessful in penetrating major international markets outside of
Tencent officially commences operations of its first insurance agency
Internet Insurance Ltd. (Wesure). WeSure will work
with well-known domestic insurance companies to provide users with
high-quality insurance services. Users can make insurance purchases,
inquiries and claims directly through national-level platforms on the
firm’s vastly popular instant messaging and lifestyle platform
WeChat and its popular instant messaging platform QQ.
Tencent has at least four wholly foreign owned enterprises and nearly
twenty subsidiaries.[dead link]
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. It also holds a number of patents related
to instant messaging and massively multiplayer online game
Main articles: zh:对腾讯的争议 and Criticism of Tencent
Many of Tencent's software and services are remarkably similar to
those of competitors. The founder and chairman, Huateng "Pony Ma" Ma,
famously said, "[To] copy is not evil." A former CEO and President of
SINA.com, Wang Zhidong, said, "Pony Ma is a notorious king of
Jack Ma of
Alibaba Group stated, "The problem with Tencent
is the lack of innovation; all of their products are copies."
Tencent is notorious for its copying acts, it is also known for
its own innovations in these copies to conform to Chinese consumers'
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
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
Tencent was accused of actively gaming the
Criticism on King of Glory
People's Daily published two articles criticizing
game King of Glory, due to its purportedly addictive nature among
Chinese youth. Share prices for
Tencent dropped by 5% on the days the
articles were published.
List of virtual communities with more than 100 million users
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