Photo: Tencent home page
QQ ID: 1557637787
Alban Fournier is a graduate from Essec Management School in Paris. He has proficiency in Management, Change Management, Marketing and Consulting services. He has worked on various engagements with Schneider Electric and Tencent, the leading Chinese Internet company.
This is part two of an article on Chinese Internet companies
A success story named Tencent
Founded in November 1998, Tencent has grown into China’s largest and most used Internet service portal. In its ten year history, Tencent has been able to maintain steady and fast paced growth. In 2005, Tencent entered the social network market with QZone and Internet shopping with PaiPai.com platform. In 2006, the firm decided to compete directly with Baidu and Google with the launch of the Soso search engine.
above picture: the soso.com search engine: wait a minute, I think the graphic design vaguely rings a bell …
Tencent’s QQ Services is China’s largest and most used Internet service portal, with the largest customer base in the world. Key platform statistics are 647.6 million of active Instant Messaging (“IM”) user accounts and a peak of simultaneous online IM user accounts of 127.5 million. Active user accounts of Qzone, a social network included in QQ Instant Messaging, numbered 492 million. 
R&D staff group is large at Tencent. The company has obtained patents relating to the following technologies: instant messaging, on-line shopping and payment services, search engine, information security, gaming, and many more. In 2007, Tencent invested more than RMB 100 m (note: RMB stands for Renminbi, which is the other name of the Chinese Yuan) and in setting up the Tencent Research Institute, China’s first Internet research institute, with campuses in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The institute focuses on developing core technologies. The revenue of the firm increased by 57% in 2010 compared to 2009, which means that Tencent is now more profitable than Microsoft Online or Google.
The business model of Tencent is not only based on advertising but based mainly on revenue generated by users and online sales. The firm is very well positioned in latter market. Furthermore, it has already a large user base which it can leverage. Online sales in China are a fabulous market for Tencent. We can expect at least a 35% increase per annum in the three coming years.
Estimate in growth of revenue generated by virtual micro-transactions will be outstanding according to Strategy AnalyticsCompared to 2009, the global market of 2015 will be multiplied by seventeen (from US$ 1 billion to US$ 17 billions).
As a conclusion, you now know that the Internet industry in China and Tencent in particular are rather successful on their home turf. Now you must be wondering whether Tencent or any other Chinese Internet firms will decide (and when) to go beyond its borders and tackle the rest of the world.