China’s social media giant has surpassed America’s leader in terms of the total value of their shares. Yes, Tencent’s market cap is greater than Facebook’s right now, with Tencent’s market capitalization currently at HK$419.84 billion – that’s US$66.6 billion – compared to Facebook’s $62.24 billion.
Tencent listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June 2004 priced at HK$3.70 per share. It’s trading right now at HK$228. It’s a significant moment for Tencent, which runs a number of social services in the country that are the biggest in their field: the biggest in social gaming; the biggest in group messaging apps with WeChat; the biggest in instant messaging with QQ, the biggest in online profiles with QZone; and the biggest in microblogging with Tencent Weibo.
If you look at the country’s top social services – in this excerpt from an infographic on China’s rising social media (above) – you’ll see that three of them are Tencent’s.
But Tencent is not invincible. It has struggled in a number of crucial areas as well. One of the biggest failures has been in e-commerce where its own efforts – with Paipai for C2C selling, and QQ Buy for B2C and online storefronts – have come to little, and been out-gunned by Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall sites. In mobile, too, it hasn’t co-ordinated quite the same coherent mobile strategy of some of its rivals, like Baidu and Alibaba, which have gone so far as to create their own mobile platforms and smartphones.
Tencent is a force to be reckoned with both at home and abroad, and its rise in value and continued diversification should serve as a lesson to Facebook.