|Traded as||SEHK: 700|
|Founded||November 12, 1998|
|Headquarters||Shenzhen, Guangdong, China|
|Area served||Worldwide (mainly Greater China)|
|Key people||Ma Huateng
(Chairman & CEO)
|Products||Social networks, mass media, web portals, e-commerce, web browser, Antivirus software and multiplayer online games|
|Revenue||CN¥ 60.49 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||CN¥ 19.2 billion (2013)|
|Net income||CN¥ 15.6 billion (2013)|
|Total assets||CN¥ 107.2 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||CN¥ 48.5 billion (2013)|
|Employees||26,962 (Dec 2013)|
|Subsidiaries||Riot Games, Epic Games|
Tencent Holdings Limited (Chinese: 腾讯控股有限公司; SEHK: 700) is a Chinese investment holding company whose subsidiaries provide mass media, entertainment, Internet and mobile phone value-added services, and operate online advertising services in China. Its headquarters are in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
Tencent's many services include social network, web portals, e-commerce, and multiplayer online games. Its offerings include the well-known (in China) instant messenger Tencent QQ and one of the largest web portals in China, QQ.com. Mobile chat service WeChat has helped bolster Tencent's continued expansion into smartphone services.
It is the fifth-largest Internet company in the world after Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and Ebay as of October 2014. In 2012, Tencent's revenue outstripped Facebook's by over $2 billion. In September 2013, Tencent's market valuation rose to US$101 billion, nine years after going public.
- 1 History
- 2 Virtual goods
- 3 Locations
- 4 Products and services
- 5 Subsidiaries
- 6 Copying claims
- 7 Investments
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Tencent was founded by Ma Huateng and Zhang Zhidong in November 1998 as Tencent Inc. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, initial funding was provided to it by venture capitalists. The company remained unprofitable for the first three years.
South African media company Naspers purchased a 46% share of Tencent in 2001. (As of 2014, it owns 34%.) During these early years Tencent's iconic messenger product had its name changed from OICQ to QQ; this was said to be due to a (apocryphal) lawsuit from ICQ itself. Others say the American Internet company AOL, not ICQ, requested the name change. 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 can be found on snack food and clothing, had also become income generators. And c. 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 and Fighter, were originally produced by South Korean game developers, \Tencent now makes its own games.
Recently, Tencent partnered with Apple and Twitter to provide enterprise cloud services, as well as IBM to provide SaaS services to SME's. 
Tencent sells virtual goods for use in their MMOs, 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, Q 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 (新科技园 xīnkējìyuán) in Nanshan District, Shenzhen. Other sites include a 48,000 square meter compound that houses an R&D center in the Chengdu Hi-Tech 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, Tencent Cyber (Tianjin), and located in the Shanghai Modern Technology Services Community Zone.
The above list of locations is not exhaustive.
Products and services
Tencent offers a diverse mix of services and counts both consumers and businesses as customers.
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 active Tencent QQ IM user accounts, making Tencent QQ the world's largest online community at the time. The number of QQ accounts simultaneously online has sometimes exceeded 100 million.
While the IM service is free, as of 2006 a fee was being charged for mobile messaging.
An English version of QQ that allows communication with mainland accounts, QQi is available for Windows and Mac OSX.
Multiplayer online games
Tencent offers a number of online, multiplayer games through its game portal QQ Games.
These massively multiplayer online games include Dungeon & Fighter, 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 two online first-person shooters; CrossFire and AVA.
Dididache (嘀嘀打车), which in Mandarin means “Honk Honk, Catch a Cab”, is a smartphone application which matches passengers and willing taxi drivers who are situated in close proximity. For passengers, a list of nearby taxicabs is created via GPS, and a signal is sent out indicating an expression of interest. Conversely, for taxi drivers with the app installed on their phones, the GPS system quickly lists and localizes nearby potential clients; and once a match is created, the taxi can efficiently pick up awaiting passengers.
Dididache is a dominant player in China's taxi-hailing arena, with a market share exceeding 60% and service extending to 32 cities including the Tier-1 conurbations of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Dididache in 2014 has 40 million registered users, a doubling from 2013's user base; and every month, more than 21 million cab rides are booked through the service, or 700,000 bookings per day. Additionally, from the taxicab perspective, Dididache already has an extensive user base of taxi drivers of more than 350,000 vehicles across China most of which are BYD Auto.
In 2008, Tencent released a media player, available for free download, under the name QQ Player.
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 is going to be launching a financial products platform on WeChat in partnership with one of China's largest asset management companies ChinaAMC. The platform will leverage the TenPay payment service.
On July 3, Tencent plans to launch a new mobile gaming platform that will include the first ever games on WeChat.
WeChat has become the most popular app in China.
On 18 February 2011, Tencent acquired a majority equity interest in Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, for about USD 230 million. Tencent had already 22.34% of the equity interest out of a previous investment in 2008. The Tencent group now owns 92.78% equity interest of Riot Games.
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 at the Southern District of Hi-Tech Park, Shenzhen. It also holds a number of patents related to instant messaging and massively multiplayer online game gaming.
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 copying." Jack Ma of Alibaba Group stated, "the problem in Tencent is no innovation; all things are copies."
As of 2009, the company held 400 patents.
Tencent recently 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.
On January 15, 2014, Tencent said it will invest HK$1.5 billion ($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 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 Holding Ltd. On May 22, 2014, 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 US$1,325 million.
On March 27, 2014, it was announced that Tencent has 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 has agreed to buy a 19.9 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce website 58.com (WUBA) Inc. for $736 million.
On October 16, 2014, and via its wholly held subsidiary Hongze Lake Investment Ltd, Tencent announced that it has bought a 7% stake in lottery technology firm China LotSynergy Holdings Ltd for HKD445.5 million (US$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. 
- "2013 Annual Report". Tencent.com. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
- "Tencent Holdings listed". Google Finance.
- Biographical Dictionary of New Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, Pg. 111-112 Ilan Alon and Wenxian Zhang. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009. Google Book Search.
- Tencent, More Than QQ Instant Messaging In China thechinaobserver.com, undated but posted prior to February 12, 2009
- Tencent Set Up china-business-daily.blogspot.com, November 7, 2008
- Tencent: The Largest Internet Portal In China technologygear.net, Wednesday, February 25th 2009
- For Chinese IM Portal Tencent, The Money Is In Micro-Transactions techcrunch.com, March 27, 2008
- "What Is the World's Fourth Largest Internet Company Doing Now?".
- "Tencent 2012 Annual Report". Tencent. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Rapoza, Kenneth. "China's Tencent About To Overtake Facebook". Forbes. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Tencent Approaches Facebook Value Amid China Web Boom bloomberg.com, Sep 16, 2013
- Tencent's value above US$100b, RTHK, 17-09-2013
- Hong Kong Stock Exchange
- Investing in China: The Emerging Venture Capital Industry Jonsson Yinya Li, Google Book Search
- Tencent Tencent official site
- 2008 Annual Report Tencent Official Site
- Tencent 腾讯 Naspers
- Bruce Einhorn; Brad Stone (August 4, 2011). "Tencent: March of the Penguins". Businessweek. pp. 4/7. Retrieved 8 Aug 2011.
- HANG SENG INDEXES ANNOUNCES INDEX REVIEW RESULTS
- QQ Games on AIM: Another Penguin Aims for the Casual Market gotgame.com, January 13, 2009
- A Chinese Web Giant's Sizzling Success businessweek.com, November 26, 2008, 9:11AM EST
- Bruce Einhorn; Brad Stone (August 4, 2011). "Tencent: March of the Penguins". Businessweek. pp. 5/7. Retrieved 8 Aug 2011.
- Tencent & IBM Partner to Deliver SaaS to SMEs in China CloudWedge.com, November 2, 2014
- "Cashing in on virtual goods - Techland".
- TenCent Reaches New Heights in Virtual Goods Sales insidesocialgames.com, March 31st, 2009
- Tencent Tells its Story at Virtual Goods Summit 3pointd.com, Friday, June 22nd, 2007, at 1:45 pm Eastern
- Ericsson Mobility World partner profile: Tencent ericsson.com
- Meet China's Google trouncer 14 May 2007, 1917 hrs IST, The Times Group
- Lucrative Alternatives to Online Advertising businessweek.com, October 23, 2008, 5:00PM EST
- The world's most lucrative social network? China's Tencent beats $1 billion revenue mark venturebeat.com, March 19, 2009
- Investor Fact Sheet Tencent Official Site
- "Contact Us." Tencent. Retrieved on September 28, 2011. "Tencent Building, Kejizhongyi Avenue, Hi-techPark,Nanshan District,Shenzhen." Address in Chinese: "深圳市南山区高新科技园中区一路腾讯大厦"
- Tencent Opens Chengdu 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 1 5 Ma y 2 0 0 8
- About Tencent Tencent Official Site
- "腾讯QQ最新24小时在线数据". Im.qq.com. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- The party, the people and the power of cyber-talk economist.com, Apr 27th 2006
- "QQ International". Tencent. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- Products and Services > Interactive Entertainment Service Tencent official Site
- Products and Services > E-commerce Tencent Official Site
- Chohan, Usman W. "Dididache 嘀嘀打车 - Hailing the Future, One Cab at a Time". McGill University. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- Products and Services > Internet Value-added Service Tencent Official Site
- Products and Services > Internet Value-added Service Tencent Official Site
- Tencent releases QQ Player
- Products and Services > Online Media Tencent Official Site
- Tencent to Build 3000-person Search Army to Power Search Engine cnreviews.com, 14 APR 2008
- What Valley Companies Should Know about Tencent techcrunch.com, Jun 20, 2010
- Products & Services > Instant Messaging Service Tencent Official Site
- Mozilla Takes on Microsoft in China businessweek.com, January 11, 2008, 7:21AM EST
- Tencent Weiyun Official website.
- Tenpay Expands Into Online Utility Payment JLM Pacific Epoch, Jul 20, 2009
- Tenpay Releases Credit Card Payment Service JLM Pacific Epoch, Apr 15, 2009
- Knock, Knock: TenPay To Offer Door-To-Door Recharging Service J:M Pacific Epoch, Nov 14, 2008
- Hsu, Alex (9 Jul 2013). "Tencent to Sell Financial Products on WeChat in Partnership with ChinaAMC". BrightWire News.
- "WeChat website".
- "Social features of WeChat". Value2020. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
- "Here’s a Heatmap of WeChat Users Around the World". TechinAsia, Steven Millward & VALUE2020. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
- Hsu, Alex (2 Jul 2013). "Tencent To Launch Integrated Mobile Gaming Platform at July 3rd Partners Conference". BrightWire News.
- "Gears of War studio sells minority stake to Chinese Internet company". Gamespot.
- Tencent Interim Report 2011 Tencent Official Site, Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- Company Snapshot: Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. businessweek.com
- China Developers Bring Mobile Widgets to Market nokia.com, 2008
- IPEXL Search > Patent Directory > "TENCENT TECHNOLOGY SHENZHEN COMPANY LIMITED" ipexl.com
- Tencent's innovation is copied... Machine translation xinhuanet.com, April 13, 2007
- Tencent Holds 400 Patents JLM Pacific Epoch, Jul 29, 2009
- Hsu, Alex (28 June 2013). "Baidu Missed Out on Kingsoft Network Investment; Tencent invests USD 46.98 million In US 52 million Round". http://bw-original-reporting.tumblr.com/post/54098848628/baidu-missed-out-on-kingsoft-network-investment.
- Hsu, Alex (10 Jul 2013). "Executives at Ctrip and Tencent Deny Acquisition Rumors". http://bw-original-reporting.tumblr.com/post/55082203247/executives-at-ctrip-and-tencent-deny-acquisition-rumors.
- Activision buys itself back from Vivendi for $8 billion joystiq.com, Retrieved 2014-02-28.
- Aitken, Todd (17 September 2013). "Tencent invested $448 million in Chinese search engine Sogou". CEOWORLD Magazine.
- Tencent Interim Report 2014 Tencent Official Site, Retrieved 2014-10-23.