China’s Tencent Invests In Another American Mobile Game Firm

ChinaTencent reportedly invested USD60 million in the acquisition of a 20% stake in Pocket Gems, a start-up mobile game company in America. Tencent will gain one position on the board of directors at Pocket Gems, according to reports in foreign media. Founded in 2009, Pocket Gems is headquartered in San Francisco and the company is supported by Sequoia Capital. Its latest product is War Dragons, which was launched in April 2015. This mobile game uses Pocket Gems’ own 3D graphics technology, aiming to attract hardcore players who are willing to spend more time and money on games.

Xiaomi’s money market fund rolls out of beta, to take on Alibaba and Tencent

ChinaLike Baidu and Alibaba, Xiaomi is eyeing China’s finance industry and seeing dollar signs. Today the company is officially launching a money-market fund called Huoqibao inside a new standalone app called “Xiaomi Finance.” Like the Alibaba-affiliated Yu’ebao, Xiaomi’s Huoqibao lets consumers save excess cash and earn interest from it. After registering for a Xiaomi Finance account with one’s national ID, users can bind a bank card to the app can store as little as RMB 1 (about US$0.15). The fund is managed by China’s E Fund Management and currently offers an annual return rate of 4.26 percent.

‘Weishang’ business model poses challenges for WeChat

China.gifThe development of e-commerce on Tencent’s WeChat platform has led to questions about the fate of the social media app used by 500 million people, according to Guangzhou’s Time Weekly. Tencent began allowing commercial activities through WeChat’s “Moments” feature, which offers updates of a user’s online friends, beginning last year. The decision has led to thriving business activities that are plagued by counterfeits, fake products and fraud schemes, with one industry insider calling the development similar to that of Taobao, China’s most popular shopping site owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Security vendor Tencent found cheating in tests

ChinaChinese anti-virus developer Tencent will lose its certifications after it was found to have submitted products with optimisations designed to improve their ratings in independent third-party testing. Tencent is the second Chinese security vendor to be caught cheating recently. Last week, rival anti-virus developer Qihoo 360 was stripped of its awards after it was found to have submitted products for testing with its default detection engine disabled, instead using BitDefender for improved results.,security-vendor-tencent-found-cheating-in-tests.aspx

Tencent launches new OS for smart devices

China.gifChina’s internet conglomerate Tencent has newly launched its own open-sourced operating system, dubbed Tencent Operating System or TOS+, for a number of smart devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, game consoles, and virtual reality headsets, aiming to become “China’s Android” for smart hardware products. Technically, TOS+ is also an Android-based operating system, but Tencent aims to make a new standard for all smart devices, as it will be free for use by manufacturers and developers of smart hardware should they agree to share revenue with Tencent, according to the website of Beijing-based Economic Observer.

China’s Tencent takes on Xiaomi with new operating system

China.gifBEIJING: China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd launched an operating system for internet-connected devices such as TVs and watches that is open to all developers, taking on domestic rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Xiaomi Inc in the smart hardware space. Tencent Operating System (OS) and TOS+ allow manufacturers and developers to freely use the platform if they agree to share revenue. This model mirrors Google Inc’s Android mobile OS, and could help Tencent replicate the US firm’s conquest of the majority of the world’s smartphones.

Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent exploring China’s mobile medical industry

ChinaChinese tech giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are likely to become major players in the mobile medical industry in China given their tremendous capital and well-developed platforms, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper Want Daily. Tencent invested US$70 million in China’s largest medical and health website Dingxiangyuan in September last year, followed by an investment of US$100 million in the leading website used for making hospital appointments in China, Guahaowang, in October last year.

Tencent, Alibaba in race to snap up smart city deals with local gov’ts

China.gifAfter vying against each other in mobile payment, online retail, and taxi-hailing, Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have taken their battle to a new field–government smart city initiatives. Several announcements from both Tencent and Alibaba over the past month suggest the two firms are deepening their involvement in local government’s initiatives to improve administrative efficiency and transparency.

Tencent to improve facial recognition for banking services

China.gifChinese internet giant Tencent has reported progress garnering government support for facial recognition technology to be used for banking services. Tenpay, a Tencent subsidiary for payments, announced a cooperative partnership with the National Citizen Identity Information Center under China’s Ministry of Public Security on Monday.  The arrangement will allow Tencent to work with police to improve the accuracy of facial recognition technology so customers won’t need to visit a bank for verification purposes, the firm said.

Tencent’s market value hits US$200bn for first time

ChinaChinese internet giant Tencent Holdings hit a market cap of more than US$200 billion for the first time on Monday, making it the second most valuable Chinese internet company after Alibaba. The country’s biggest social networking and online entertainment firm edged up 5.38% to HK$170.5 in trading in Hong Kong on Monday, giving it a market value of US$206 billion.

Tencent to partner with Shanghai government to establish smart IoT city, says report

ChinaThe government of Shanghai, China and China-based Internet service player Tencent have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly push Shanghai’s Internet of things (IoT) infrastructure and enhance the city’s smart services. The two firms are looking to help the city to feature a friendly environment for entrepreneurship, according to a Chinese-language Tencent report.

China data center server standard project 3.0 to announce at year-end 2015

China.gifThe third version of China’s data center server technology standard project led by China-based Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are set to be announced at the end of 2015 and the project will cover more standards and adopt a modularized design to help reduce China data centers’ server purchasing costs, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.  China launched the first version of the project in 2012 and the second in 2014 and the project is rather similar to the Open Compute Project (OCP) that Facebook has been aggressively promoting.

China’s tech titans are no longer startup steamrollers

China.gif“In the US, students think, ‘If I build something good, Google will buy me.’ In China they think, ‘If I build something good, Tencent will copy me.’” That was the grimassessment of Stephen Bell, a Shanghai-based partner at Trinity Ventures, back in 2011. A year earlier, a Chinese tech magazine was much more blunt. “Fucking Tencent,”blasted the cover of China Computerworld on its July 26, 2010, issue (pictured below). It depicted Tencent’s penguin mascot stabbed with three knives and bleeding profusely.

China to punish Tencent, Youku Tudou, other video sites for pornography

China.gifBEIJING: China will punish Internet companies including Tencent Holdings Ltd , Youku Tudou Inc and Baidu Inc’s iQiyi for hosting videos suspected of containing violence and pornography, which it said causes juvenile delinquency. The offending material is primarily Japanese animation on the video streaming websites of Tencent, Youku Tudou, iQiyi, Inc and Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing (LeTV) , the Ministry of Culture said on its website on Tuesday.

Tencent Announces Structural Adjustment Aimed At Animation And Film

ChinaTencent 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.

India’s Premji and China’s Tencent back Cyanogen’s $80M funding

ChinaCyanogen, 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 teams up with Tencent, China Harmony Auto to tap into smart electric vehicle market

ChinaFoxconn 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 had a good 2014, pulled in $12.9 billion in revenues

ChinaTencent, 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.

The 10 commandments of Wechat: new rules for what you can and can’t post

China.gifWeChat, 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.

In an unexpected move, Tencent opens e-store on Alibaba’s Tmall

China.gifIf 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.