Tencent: Expanding from China to the World
Founded in 1998, Tencent has grown into one of China's largest and most used Internet service portal. Social network, web portals, e-commerce and multiplayer online games are being offered, such as the well-known instant messenger Tencent QQ and one of the largest portals in China, QQ.com. Mobile chat service WeChat has helped bolster Tencent’s continued expansion into smartphone services, including overseas. Since its establishment over the last decade, Tencent has maintained steady growth under its user-oriented operating strategies. In year 2004, Tencent Holdings Limited went public on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Despite the tremendous growth, Tencent had only gone through two organizational restructures in order to keep up with new developments, improve their small product tree and overcome the large organization problems. Tencent also expanded its business to e-commerce industry by setting up a subsidiary, the Tencent E-Commerce Holding Company to get market share in the click-and-mortar and O2O market.
Nevertheless, it was difficult for Tencent to penetrate the international market and be a first mover in developing new Internet services as their products are claimed to be clones of other international products. Thus, Tencent cautiously considered how they would be able to compete globally and with their motives in mind before taking actions. They decided to hold an investor position in a very low-key manner instead by observing and preparing for the foreign market. Once the opportunities are identified, Tencent would leap at the chance to invest and create their own version of services.
Tencent placed a lot of importance on user experience,...