Despite being concentrated to one country, Chinese social media platforms are as big as their global counterparts
China has harsh rules when it comes to the internet. Almost all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are officially banned in the country.
The Chinese government’s censorship policies have given birth to a totally different set of players as part of its internet economy. Platforms such as QQ, Qzone and for a long while Baidu which a very few know about outside of China, rule the roost in the country.
Despite being concentrated to one country, these platforms are as big as their global counterparts. Tencent which owns QQ, Qzone and WeChat compares with Facebook (which owns WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram) in terms of revenue and net income.
In the first half of 2017, the net revenue of Tencent was USD 15.7 billion compared to Facebook’s USD 17.4 billion. Whereas, the net income for Tencent stood at USD 4.8 billion and Facebook with USD 7 billion.
Tencent’s number may seem lower than Facebook but given the fact that the combined user base for Facebook services is more than double that of Tencent services, it is no mean feat.
Moreover, Tencent’s reach is practically limited to one country whereas Facebook has a global presence. This means, comparatively, Facebook has a larger audience for advertisement and better scope for growth in terms of the market than Tencent.
From the market's standpoint, Tencent's share price has rocketed more than 60 percent since August 2016 whereas shares of Facebook have grown 35 percent in the last one year. In 2016, Tencent became the largest tech company in China in terms of market capitalisation and is currently racing with e-commerce giant Alibaba, going back and forth, for the title.
Other global internet behemoths which are allowed in China are far from emulating their feats which they achieved in other countries. Google which indisputably is number one search engine in the world has a 1.7 percent market share in China. Comparatively, its counterpart Baidu dominates with 77.1 percent market share.
The e-commerce giant Amazon has a meager 0.8 percent market share whereas Alibaba owned Tmall.com stands tall with 56.6 percent share.Last year, the ride hailing startup Uber exited China after facing stiff competition from home-grown Didi. In August, the Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing announced the acquisition of Uber's operations in China in a USD 35 billion deal. While Didi acquired Uber China's brand, business operations, and data, Uber received 5.89 percent share of the combined entity, totalling 17.7 percent economic interest in Didi Chuxing.The Great Diwali Discount!
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