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China Internet Report Gives a Glimpse of Tencent’s Dominance

IDG Capital Partners released an interesting white paper on the Chinese internet back in October. As a whole, it’s a little fragmented in its content, but there are a few interesting nuggets of information in there which I thought were worth sharing – even though we might be late to this party.

The first is a sort of matrix presenting China’s various social networks, classifying them according to relationship type (do they connect real-life friends, or strangers?) and the user’s needs. What’s most interesting here I think is Tencent’s (HKG:0700) properties, including old reliable QQ instant messenger, which spans both strangers and acquaintances.

Looking at Tencent’s other presences which spawned from its QQ userbase – like its Qzone social network, its Weibo microblog, as well as the Weixin chat app (which is being marketed abroad as WeChat) – it’s hard not to be impressed with Tencent’s social portfolio. Of course, none of this information is really new, but seeing China’s major networks laid out in this manner sort of puts them in a new light, a light that is quite flattering for Tencent.

sns-china

When I think about how Tencent (and now Line and Kakao) have leveraged the user base of their respective chat services, it makes me wonder why Microsoft can’t pull off something similar with MSN Messenger. (Because it’s Microsoft?).

Desktop Favorites

The report presented China’s most favored desktop software in a similar manner, claiming that due to the slow speed of the internet in China in its early days, that desktop software has become popular in comparison. What’s stands out in the chart below is not the classification of various desktop applications, but rather their comparative size of their user bases.

Again Tencent stands out, but so does rival 360 [1]. Sogou’s IME, Xunlei’s P2P client, and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (ughh…) also have pretty impressive numbers, as you can see below. [h/t Global Voices]

desktop-software-china

  1. The report has a concise summary of the so-called 3Q War between the two companies if you’d like to give it a read.  ↩



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