Before diving into practical tips on leveraging social media tools to connect with Chinese colleagues, it is important to break the Chinese technology sector into broader segments. At the same time, if tech savvy investors and managers want to fully understand how to gain full business potential from social media tools, they must have an understanding of the game-changing innovations coming from the poorly understood Chinese social media giant – Tencent.
A Picture of China’s Technology Sector
Early this year, the Wall Street Journal provided a helpful graphic that broke Chinese internet companies into 5 major categories and provided a graphical scale for their market cap. It is clear that the three most influential companies are Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu in the e-commerce, social media and search markets respectively.
Tencent: An Innovative Social Business Too Few Understand
Within this web of Chinese tech firms, Tencent sits atop the social media sector. In fact based market value analysis from Statista, Tencent is the world’s fourth largest internet company – behind only Google, Facebook and Amazon.
What is more, since this graphic was published in May Tencent’s market cap has grown to $160 billion dollars in August 2014. On-line gaming made up over half of Tencent’s August revenue numbers due to its suite of games that effectively engage players to the point of spending real cash to improve their on-line gaming. But Tencent’s “swiss army knife” is a social messaging app called WeChat (Wei Xin in Chinese) that acts as platform within which the tools 438 million users can not only spend money on cute stickers to share with their friends, but more importantly access an increasing number of value-added services.
Give WeChat a Test Drive
In the next post we will explore these value-added services in more detail, but for the moment take time to explore the WeChat world by downloading the app here and viewing this 3 minute introduction from the Wall Street Journal.