Tencent Holdings overview

Tencent is a Chinese internet service portal offering value-added internet, mobile, telecom, and online advertising services.

Since its establishment in 1998, Tencent has maintained steady growth under its user-oriented operating strategies. It provides value-added internet, mobile and telecom services, as well as online advertising under the strategic goal of providing users with “one-stop online lifestyle services.” Tencent’s leading internet platforms in China – QQ (QQ Instant Messenger), WeChat, QQ.com, QQ Games, Qzone, 3g.QQ.com, SoSo, PaiPai, and Tenpay – aim to address the various needs of internet users, including communication, information, entertainment, e-commerce, and others.

With its R&D staff comprising more than 60% of its employee base, Tencent has obtained patents relating to technologies in various areas such as instant messaging, e-commerce, online payment services, search engine, information security, gaming, and many more. In 2007, Tencent invested more than RMB100 million in setting up the Tencent Research Institute, China’s first internet research institute, with campuses in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The institute focuses on the self-development of core internet technologies in pursuing its development and innovation goals for the industry.

Tencent was founded in November of 1998. In April 2000, the IDG and PCCW invested a total of $2.2 million dollars in the company. Tencent was listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK) on June 16, 2004.

Tencent’s major competitors include Baidu, Alibaba, and Netease.

In 2018 the company surpassed a market value of US$500bn. Its revenue in 2018 was CN¥312.69bn.

In 2019 Tencent revealed it was to open a blockchain-based virtual bank after the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission approved a license.

The company saw significant growth in 2019 (FY'19 hit $54bn - up 21%), meaning that it overtook companies such as Cisco and Lenovo in terms of revenue. It saw $16.4bn in operating profit.

In October 2020, Tencent launched AIMIS Medical Image Cloud, and the AIMIS Open Lab, designed to leverage cloud-stored medical data to help tech companies develop innovative new products.

Later that same month, Tencent reportedly applied for a reinsurance license in China. The company already has partnerships with Swiss Re to research AI within the reinsurance industry, and it launched insurance platform WeSure in 2017, which reported 55m users at the end of 2019.

Map showing the location of Tencent Holdings

Shenzhen, China

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Key people

Lau Seng Yee President of Online Media Group, Senior Executive Vice President
Xi dan Senior Vice President
Steven Fan Executive Director
Pony Ma Founder, CEO & Executive Director
Iain Bruce Non-Executive Member of the Board of Directors
Martin Lau President
Dan Brody VP - Business Development