Tencent: The East's Breakaway Internet Giant

BMI View: South and South East Asian markets offer great commercial potential for Chinese Internet giant, Tencent. A combination of low-cost smartphone adoption trends and the shift towards using mobile devices to access online content are helping Tencent to gain significant overseas presence with its mobile-based messaging application WeChat. That said, we see strict censorship controls and China's tense relationships with its maritime neighbours as key impediments to Tencent's regional expansion efforts.

Tencent Moves Beyond China's Borders

Tencent started its search for international opportunities since 2009. To this end, the company modified its popular applications QQ messenger and WeChat with multiple language supports in English, French, Spanish, German, Korean, Japanese and Classical Chinese to target international audiences. At the same time, the company has placed a greater emphasis on global marketing campaigns. In July 2013, for example, Tencent recruited global football phenomenon Lionel Messi to be the product ambassador for WeChat. Other branding efforts include establishing local branch offices in overseas markets such as Malaysia and India, as well as tie-ups with local firms and celebrities to bolster the firm's local presence.

Growing Smartphone Sales To Bring Mobile Internet Opportunities
Domestic Smartphone Sales (000)

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This article is tagged to:
Geography: Asia, Global, Colombia