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Tencent is the 10th largest firm worldwide and the world’s Number 1 for conversational commerce
Tencent overtaken its rival Alibaba to become China’s most valuable tech firm in 2016. Today, Tencent’s market capitalisation has exceeded US$300bn. It has now reached the 10th most valuable company in the world, by replacing Wells Fargo. Tencent, the owner of the WeChat Conversational Platform has now reached 1m Conversational Commerce transactions a minute. Their 800m users can use Conversational Commerce for shopping, buying music and cinema tickers, paying for transport and even government transactions such as for driving licences. Tencent also has one-third of China’s US$5.5 trillion mobile payments market. According to Forrester, this is 50 times the size of the mobile payments market in the USA which is valued at US112 billion. The implications are staggering. Tencent, along with Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon are clearly moving away from the other tech titans as the paradigm shift accelerates towards Conversational Commerce, Conversational Advertising and Conversational Productivity.
Tencent moves into Seattle to attract Microsoft Chatbot talent
The Chinese tech titan Tencent has setup an AI Lab in Seattle, which has attracted key people from Microsoft such as Dr. Yu Dong from their Speech and Dialog group. This AI Lab will work closely with the Tencent AI Lab setup in Shenzhen. For some time, Tencent has been advancing Chatbot capabilities through WeChat that has been pioneering Conversational Commerce, Conversational Advertising and Conversational Productivity, including blended solutions with IoT (Internet of Things). Tencent is also an investor in KiK the Conversational Platform that includes the mixed community of people and Chatbots.
Tencent moves into Europe
Tencent’s WeChat is being launched into the UK, which will be followed by France and Germany. WeChat is China’s largest Conversational Platform and is the world leader for pioneering Conversational Commerce involving 800m users. WeChat aims to attract luxury brands to use WeChat to sell to Chinese consumers. Andrea Ghizzoni, European director of Tencent stated: “Almost 95% of global luxury brands are on WeChat now — in the UK, there is Burberry and Mulberry, in Italy, Valentino, Zegna, Prada, all the big brands. Two years ago, the number was 50% and last year 75%, so the growth has picked up recently.”
Tencent prepares for big expansion outside China
Tencent has opened a data center in Silicon Valley and plans are underway to build four further data centers outside China. The proposed data centers in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Seoul and Moscow. This would strengthen Tencent’s capabilities to accelerate Conversational Commerce, Conversational Advertising and Conversational Productivity.
Tencent invests in firms that can drive conversational commerce
Indonesian ride-hailing giant Go-Jek according to a TechCrunch report, has raised US$1.2 billion. It is believed the primary investor is Tencent. This is another example of Tencent investing in firms that will drive WeChat’s Conversational Commerce.