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TMCNet:  Tencent Establishes Office for WeChat in US

[February 26, 2013]

Tencent Establishes Office for WeChat in US

Feb 26, 2013 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. (SEHK: 0700) established an office for its mobile messaging application WeChat in the US recently, an effort to develop and research users, build client relationship and extend cooperation there.

A top executive responsible for the business at it said in an interview that it was a tough job for a foreign Internet firm to enter the US market as there had been many premium homegrown Internet firms and products. Despite that, foreign Internet firms and products longed to step into it and there was no exception to WeChat. And in order to get known whether the application would foray into the market, Tencent made such a decision.

In line with people in the circle, leading global social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube failed to enter the Chinese market for various reasons, thus WeChat should be appreciated. However, there is no doubt that it will meet a list of challenges. Zhang Xiaolong, father of WeChat, once admitted that it was not an easy job for developing nations to export products to developed nations. On the one hand, the products should well meet concerned standards by the latter. And on the other hand, consumers in the latter always venerated and were confident about their homegrown products.

Tencent formally launched WeChat in January 2011 and the English version was launched in October that year. The 4.0 version was launched in April 2012 and the English version was renamed into WeChat, consolidating contents of several social networking platforms including Facebook and Twitter. And currently, it supports platforms including iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone, languages including English, Thai and Spanish as well as SMS registrations in over 100 countries and territories. However, it grew fast in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and some Southeast countries, with users in the US standing at only about 100,000 as at the end of September, 2012.

Actually, many Chinese Internet firms expanded slowly overseas and for instance, Chinese online search service provider Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) announced foray into the Japanese market in 2007 and in 2011, it said that the losses hit USD 108 million, without any breakthroughs in market share there.

Dong Jiangyong, co-founder of a venture capital firm, said that it should be huge data, investigations and researches that jointly caused the Hong Kong-listed firm to make such a decision. It only established an office focusing on data collection, analysis and research there and for its internationalization strategy, the move could be regarded as a good supplementary.

(USD 1 = CNY 6.23) Source: www.yicai.com (February 26, 2013)

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