Tencent Holdings Ltd., one of Asia’s biggest companies, is little known beyond the tech world. But its WeChat super app has more than 1 billion users worldwide. What started in 1998 when a small group of friends cloned an Israeli instant-messaging service and adapted it for the Chinese market has become part of the fabric of life for people who use it to chat, shop, watch videos, play games, flirt, order food and taxis and more. Now it’s attracted the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump — and not in a good way.
The Chinese company is like WhatsApp, Facebook, Paypal, Spotify, Netflix and Marvel rolled into one. More than two-thirds of Chinese people use its messaging apps, WeChat and QQ. In 2017 venture capitalist Mary Meeker estimated they collectively spend 1.7 billion hours a day on them, more than all other apps combined. Its flagship WeChat has evolved into an all-purpose app that allows people to use it for payments, e-commerce and more. U.S. companies such as Starbucks and KFC rely on the service to sell coffee and fried chicken to Chinese consumers. It’s also big in online advertising, gaming, cloud computing and fintech.
Read it at the source: Why Tencent and WeChat Are Such a Big Deal in China – Bloomberg