Tencent is China’s second-biggest internet company, recently stripped of its number one spot by Alibaba. It’s also one of the country’s most active venture capitalists. While Alibaba made headlines with massive investments into big established companies, Tencent got down and dirty with early stage investments into nascent startups.
Chinese social and gaming giant Tencent has recently made an investment in Japanese mobile game developer Aiming, according to a press release posted on Aiming’s site. The total sum Tencent invested has not been revealed, but the agreement also includes a cooperative partnership that will see Tencent distributing Aiming’s games across greater China and Aiming distributing Tencent games (with a non-exclusive license) in Japan.
Wang Juan, chief editor of Tencent’s video business, announced that Tencent is preparing its over-the-top content plans for 2015 by cooperating with license owners and hardware manufacturers. Wang said Internet TV in China is a regulatory focus of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China because smart TVs will become a mainstream platform for video distribution in China.
Yesterday, Alibaba revealed its latest move towards the gaming space: a new social mobile gaming platform called KTplay. Created together with Beijing-based mobile game startup Yodo1, KTplay is a bit like a more robust version of Apple’s Game Center. But that’s not the only move Alibaba has made recently in the gaming space. In August, the company poured $120 million into American game developer Kabam, and it has also experimented with using its ecommerce sites as a platform for game distribution.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Tencent will be bringing the popular Japanese mobile game Puzzle & Dragons to China next year, “according to a person familiar with the matter.” Does that mean a massive windfall of cash is imminent for the Chinese game publisher? On the one hand, this move may be coming a little late. Puzzle & Dragons was white hot in 2013, but since then its growth has slowed.
WiWide, a Chinese startup that provides public wifi networks to stores and restaurants, has received an RMB 300 million (US$49 million) series C funding round from Tencent and Dianping, according to TechNode. Over 500 domestic and international franchises use WiWide in China, including Starbucks, Burger King, and several airports. Its advertising clients include Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nokia, Lenovo, and HTC, whose ads get pushed to customers once they connect. Altogether, the company runs over 30,000 hotspots.
BEIJING: The founders of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd were among a consortium of investors who purchased stakes in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd in a HK$36.5bil (RM16.15bil) deal, in one of the largest Hong Kong share offerings of the year. Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma was one of Ping An’s new backers, according to a person familiar with the matter. Tencent chairman Pony Ma also participated, according to domestic financial news magazine Caijing.
The battle for online viewers in China heated up again today with Tencent’s announcement of a tie-up with HBO. The deal will see a number of shows from the American subscription channel, such as Game of Thrones and The Newsroom, streamed in China. They’ll be available soon on the Tencent Video site. All the violence, nudism, and sex scenes in Game of Thrones will make it tough to edit for approval in China. It will likely involve a number of cuts. A Tencent representative declined to comment on the record about this issue.
Jane Poynter, co-founder and chief executive officer of World View Enterprises, revealed that the company recently gained a new round of investments and its investors included the Chinese Internet technology giant Tencent. Focusing on the research and development of space travel business, World View operates high-altitude balloons that offer an accessible and affordable way to access near space. The company plans to launch a near space travel service in 2016.
Korean mobile game designer 4:33 Creative Lab has attracted fresh investment from Tencent and Line Corp, according to BeSUCCESS. The dollar amount was undisclosed, but BeSUCCESS puts the figure north of US$100 million. Tencent, Line, and Korea Investment Partners jointly set up a consortium in which Tencent contributed about US$110 million, according to Business Korea. After the investment made through the consortium, Tencent’s stake in 4:33 Creative Lab comes out to 25 percent. 4:33 Creative Labs says it will disclose more details about the consortium later this year.
Tencent released its third quarter results for 2014 yesterday and, as analysts predicted, its growth in mobile games has slowed. In fact at RMB 2.6 billion (US$424 million) this quarter’s mobile gaming revenue is actually down compared last quarter, although Tencent blames that mostly on “delayed launches of upgrades.” I’ve written quite a bit about why I think the mobile gaming market in Asia is overhyped, so I don’t want to rehash any of those arguments here.
The number of internet users on Earth recently surpassed three billion, and nearly half of them – 1.35 billion – are on Facebook, according to social media agency WeAreSocial. That’s roughly equal to the entire population of China. Ironically, very few of Facebook’s users actually live in China, where the government has blocked the behemoth social network for several years. Tencent reigns supreme instead, taking up three of the top five spots for social platforms with the most monthly active users in the world.
HAINAN, China-Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is getting help from International Business Machines Corp. to attract business customers, as the Chinese company diversifies its offerings beyond games and online communication. The companies said they signed a preliminary agreement to develop cloud-based offerings that would be provided by Tencent to sectors like banking, retail and health care, including services like management tools and analytics. The offerings will be run from Tencent data centers, the companies said, though Tencent has the option to use an IBM data center in Hong Kong.
HAINAN, China–Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is getting help from International Business Machines Corp. to attract business customers, as the Chinese company diversifies its offerings beyond games and online communication. The companies said they signed a preliminary agreement to develop cloud-based offerings that would be provided by Tencent to sectors like banking, retail and health care, including services like management tools and analytics. The offerings will be run from Tencent data centers, the companies said, though Tencent has the option to use an IBM data center in Hong Kong.
If you’re a successful Chinese mobile startup, I’ve got some good news: Tencent wants to help you. As part of a recent event celebrating the 5.0 release of its mobile app platform Yingyongbao, the company has announced what it calls its “double-hundred plan.” According to Tencent social media services group VP Lin Yongtao, the double-hundred plan stipulates that over the next three years, Tencent will direct 10 billion user visits to 100 Chinese startups via its open platform, although the startups in question must be valued at RMB 100 million (US$16 million) or more.
Tencent has made a new social play in the same vein as Snapchat to appease China’s “post-90s” youths. The web giant made a fresh US$20 million series A investment into Blink, a new photo sharing and messaging app out of China. Sequoia Capital, H Capital, ZhenFund, and Innovation Works also participated in the round, according to Techweb.
(UPDATED on September 29: Tencent has just bought US$100 million in extra shares in 58.com, which effectively takes its stake to 24 percent from the previous 19.9 percent. The article’s title and timestamp is updated also. The original article was published on June 27.) Chinese web giant Tencent (HKG:0700) – now best known as being the maker of WeChat – announced today that it’s paying US$736 million for a 19.9 percent stake in 58.com (NYSE:WUBA), which is China’s answer to Craigslist.
According to China’s Caixin (hat-tip Forbes ), the new division will make use of Tencent’s existing intellectual property from its gaming and comics divisions. Among the seven films that Tencent claims are currently in pre-production, four of them originate from one of the company’s video games. It’s also working on an adaptation of Mo Yan’s novella “Treasure Map.” Tencent COO Ren Yuxing said in a statement that the company aims to merge content across its numerous branches, while creating a movie viewing experience that integrates both the online and offline worlds.
Tencent has signed a deal with western tech blog The Next Web to be the latter’s exclusive content partner for Greater China. The announcement published today says Tencent has exclusive rights to translate The Next Web’s content into Chinese. The new site for all translated content can be found here , under the umbrella of Tencent’s existing QQ Tech website. No financial dealings were discussed in the announcement. In February 2013, Tencent signed a similar deal with US-based Business Insider.