Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group will establish a new animation business unit and a film and copyright business unit to enable the independent operations of those businesses. The new animation business unit will be responsible for development and operation of animation-related content, including planning, development and operation of animation products; creating and operation of animation content; front-end and back-end development and design of animation products, copyright expansion; and commercial operation.
Cyanogen, the US-based maker of an alternative Android-based mobile operating system called Cyanogen OS, announced today it completed a US$80 million series C round of funding. India’s Premji Invest led the round, followed by Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm, Telefonica Ventures, Smartfren Telecom, Index Ventures, Access Industries, Rupert Murdoch, Vivi Nevo and other undisclosed investors. Previous investors Benchmark, Andreesen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures, and Tencent Holdings also participated, according to an announcement on the company’s website.
Foxconn Electronics has signed a strategic agreement with China-based Internet service provider Tencent Holdings and luxury auto dealer China Harmony Auto Holding for tapping the Internet-connected smart electric vehicle market. However, the companies did not reveal much detail of the cooperation project. The coalition efforts will draw on Foxconn’s manufacturing expertise, Tencent’s Internet platform and China Harmony Auto’s dealership networks, according to industry sources.
Tencent, China’s gaming and social media giant, just published its Q4 2014 earnings report. Aside from 500 million monthly active users on WeChat, there’s a lot of data to take in.Here are the highlights for 2014 as a whole:
- Tencent’s 2014 revenues hit RMB 78.9 billion (US$12.9 billion), up 31 percent from 2013’s total.
- Profits reached RMB 23.9 billion (US$3.9 billion), up 53 percent year-on-year.
- Net margin increased to 30 percent from 26 percent in 2013.
WeChat, the most popular messaging app and social network in China with 468 million monthly active users, yesterday set in stone 10 rules for users posting to the app’s news feed, called Moments in English (h/t to 36kr for spotting). An article from the WeChat Security Center says the service will “resolutely crack down on all kinds of illegal content and behavior.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em? That might be the case for Tencent when it comes to ecommerce. Despite a long-standing rivalry with Alibaba, the company has set up shop on Tmall, Alibaba’s online department store. As Techweb reports, the store contains a selection of Tencent or QQ-branded hardware, including a glucometer, a wifi dongle, a robot that can “chat” and play music, a bluetooth speaker set for kids, and a pairable projector and remote-control pen.
Earlier this week, Alibaba subsidiary Aliyun announced it was opening a data center in Santa Clara, California, as the first step in expanding the giant’s reach into the U.S. cloud services market. Alibaba isn’t the only Chinese internet company looking to gain data center foothold in Silicon Valley. Other heavyweights, including Tencent and Baidu, have been shopping for data center space in the Valley in recent months, Jeff West, director of data center research at the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, said.
In a shock move, China’s two biggest taxi-hailing apps, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, earlier today announced their merger. It’s surprising not only because the new company will have an almost total monopoly on the market, but also because it’s a very rare instance of a partnership between Alibaba and Tencent, two of China’s three biggest web giants.
As China’s massive Spring Festival holiday approaches, the folks at Tencent WeChat have been busy pressing the delete key on links between their app and a number of Alibaba services. First, Sina Tech reported that WeChat had shut down a sharing like with Alibaba’s Alipay that allowed Alipay users to send digital Spring Festival red envelopes of money to WeChat friends. Now, it appears WeChat has also shut down sharing connections with Alibaba music apps Xiami and Tiantian Dongting, meaning users can no longer share content from those apps directly with their WeChat friends.
The funding round was confirmed today to be worth US$350 million, with the investment contributed by CITIC, Tencent, JD, Dianping, and Sequoia China. Tencent binds a lot of this together as it owns a 15 percent stake in JD and a 20 percent stake in the Yelp-like Dianping. This move could result in Ele.me’s food ordering service being integrated into Dianping and/or Tencent’s WeChat messaging app. The headline has been amended with the new information. The original article from January 13 is unchanged below.)
Just a few days after testing ads in the WeChat timeline, Tencent has brought WeChat advertising live. Regular ads in the service began appearing in users’ timelines over the weekend, and among the first ones to pop up were advertisements for global brands BMW and Coca-Cola. Chinese smartphone maker Vivo also has ads on the service. It’s no surprise that global brands are interested in getting in on the ground floor of WeChat advertising. The service current boasts nearly 500 million active users, and it continues to grow.
Chinese developer Dalian Wanda Group’s e-commerce unit is expected to begin operations later this year. The company is taking a different approach to competing with the industry leader Alibaba, reports Guangzhou’s Time Weekly. Following Wanda’s initial public offering in Hong Kong on Dec. 23, the largest in Asia in 2014, the property developer was once again in the news when its e-commerce unit received investments worth 1 billion yuan (US$161 million) from two investment funds on Jan. 4.
BEIJING: China’s Xiaomi Inc has agreed to buy about 3 percent of software firm Kingsoft Corp Ltd from Tencent Holdings Ltd for HK$527 million ($67.99 million), according to a Kingsoft filing on Monday. The deal with Xiaomi, the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker, is expected to close on January 30, the filing to the Hong Kong exchange said. Chinese social networking and video game giant Tencent will still hold 9.6 percent of Kingsoft.
This time last year, popular messaging app WeChat launched an online personal investment fund for its users in China. It allows people to get better interest rates for their savings than from banks. Now WeChat’s maker, Tencent, has revealed that the wealth fund has 10 million users who’ve banked a total of RMB 100 billion, which is US$16.2 billion. That amounts to an average of US$1,610 for each user.
Chinese Internet company Tencent and Sony Music Entertainment jointly announced a strategic cooperation agreement under which Tencent will exclusively manage Sony Music’s online music service in mainland China. No financial details of the agreement were released. Basing on the agreement, Tencent will recommend Sony Music’s artists on its QQ music streaming media website and other platforms.
Today Wanda Group, the Chinese commercial real estate firm best known for its movie theater chains, announced that its joint ecommerce venture with Tencent and Baidu closed a RMB 1 billion (US$161 million) funding round. The two investment funds, Xude Rendao and Centec Networks, will take 2 percent and 3 percent equity in the company, respectively. Wanda Group states that Tencent and Baidu now each hold a 15 percent stake in the venture, which is now valued at RMB 20 billion (about US$3.2 billion).
[SHANGHAI] Chinese Internet giant Tencent, operator of the popular messaging app WeChat, has launched an online bank, a state-backed newspaper said Monday, as the government seeks to foster private lenders. The online bank, called WeBank, will be fully Internet-based with no physical branches, the China Daily newspaper said. WeBank, approved by regulators in July, made its first loan at the weekend, although its formal opening is planned for April, the report said.
Re/code, the tech blog that’s home to All Things D emigres Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, is now available in Chinese. This comes as part of an exclusive partnership with web giant Tencent, which now has a Chinese-language Re/code site as part of its Tech QQ portal. See it here. The deal was announced on both Tech QQ and Re/code, but the terms of the deal are not disclosed.