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Business - Written by on Thursday, February 7, 2008 12:45 - 2 Comments

Rising Asian Revolutionaries – TenCent

Have you ever heard of this company? TenCent QQ. Well… it has over 220 million active users and over 641 million registered users – to be fair, that’s including multiple accounts. The success of TenCent and other grassroots Chinese companies have established such a stronghold over the Chinese user base that even Google is having trouble establishing firm ground in China (not to mention the heat they’ve been getting for complying to strict Chinese censorship conditions).


you can purchase a virtual QQ pet (pet penguin) and bring him online to meet friends, you can even buy clothes for him and get him educated.

So what do they do? I think the more appropriate question is what they don’t do. They have instant messaging (IM), mail, a social network capability – Q zone, multiplayer gaming capability with QQ games, a web portal QQ.com, C2C shopping, and virtual products such as QQ Show, QQ Pet, QQ Game, and QQ Music/Radio/Live all of which you can purchase with their virtual currency Q-Coin. The interesting thing about Q-Coin, is that the use of this virtual currency has become so popular that a black market has developed around this ‘currency’ and the Chinese government has become concerned that the Q-Coin will undermine the actual value of China’s real currency the RMB (the Yuan).

The best thing about QQ is that it acts as an integrated platform – a sort of one stop shop for consumers’ online needs – from communications, media, entertainment, mobile gaming, and social networking. All of their value-added products / services are integrated into their IM service – by far QQ’s most popular feature with 715.3 million registered accounts and 288.7 million active user accounts. But Chinese users are using the internet differently than say, their North American counterparts. Where we would never dream to pay extra for something like an IM service, or to dress and educate a virtual pet online or to pay for extra storage, memory and photo space QQ has premium paid services where 17.7 million users are paying for their Internet Value-added- Services (IVAS) such as Q-Zone (social network), QQ pets and online gaming. They also have 10.3 million subscriptions for their Mobile value added services (MVAS).
Out of QQ’s total 140.8 million USD revenues, IVAS accounted for 67.9% of total revenues and MVAS accounted for 18.3%.

Imagine that, a company that has almost as many active users as the population of the United States… and we’ve never even heard of them before.


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Wikinomics » Blog Archive » A Real Tax on Virtual Currency
Dec 4, 2008 18:13

[...] this year Ming blogged about Tencent and the Chinese government’s concern that the virtual Q-Coin could undermine the value of China’s real currency, the Yuan. It appears as though those fears have intensified as the most recent move follows a [...]

Geekonomics » Blog Archive » Tencent uses Facebook to promote QQ?
Oct 2, 2010 23:14

[...] many ways, this geek feels that QQ was a leading leading forerunner in the social networking space compared to even Facebook. For example, they popularized the concept [...]

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