Get Yours! → http://bit.ly/BWJFB
“The right place at the right time with the right connections can make you notoriously B.I.G. in China”
You think Facebook is big? Not very creative but very profitable, TENCENT has proven good use of …good luck.
Founded by Ma Huateng (Forbes’ #223 Billionaire) and Zhang Zhidong (Forbes’ #719 Billionaire) 1998 as Tencent Inc.
“Tencent” is derived from the Chinese phrase “十分”. It is a measurement that can be used to represent one cent (one 分 (fēn) is a one-hundredth subdivision of one yuan.) However, the Chinese name for the company is not “十分” (Pinyin: shí fēn). Instead, it is a loose transliteration of “Tencent”: 腾讯 (Pinyin: téng xùn). In Chinese it means, roughly, “galloping message”.
Its headquarters are located in the Tencent Building (腾讯大厦 Téngxùn Dàshà) in the Southern District of Hi-tech Park (新科技园 Xīn Kējì Yuán) in Nanshan District, with sublets in other cities.
Also known by its official name QQ, TENCENT offers a huge range of services for B2C and B2B.
Super brief story of QQ’s name: It was inspired from the ancient Israeli found company; ICQ. In 1997, Ma Huateng was inspired to create OICQ from ICQ as an ICQ user. Then, obviously, OICQ was sued by ICQ for the domain name issue.
After a bunch of copyright infringements and other mumbo jumbo, in 2000, ICQ officially sued OICQ. So to avoid risk, OICQ was then renamed to QQ. The end.
Tencent services are, and do (in very few words):
qq.com QQ.com is China’s largest web. Integrates a huge range of services and entertainment. It reported 711.7 million active user accounts for QQ IM (11/9/30). In February 2011, QQ.com ranked 10th overall in the Alexa Internet rankings just behind Twitter (Feb2011)
Tencent Weibo The competitor of Sina Weibo, it’s one of the biggest Chinese microblogging services. (Find me there) Users may broadcast a message including 140 Chinese characters at most through the web, SMS or smartphone. It’s fun to use but BEWARE OF ZOMBIES!
QQ International In 2009, QQ began to expand its services internationally, and it has been working with partners throughout Asia and the USA through its IMQQ portal.
–SOSO (Search Engine) “搜搜”, or “search search” in Chinese. It was a Chinese partner of Google, using AdWords. Currently, Soso.com provides more than 16 search products and services, including search for websites, images, music, blogs, news and video. As well as semantic search through their engines: Wenwen and Baike (Tencent’s Baike).
Instant Messaging Services
QQ Enterprise An instant messaging service for business, aiming to connect them with QQ’s user database. TM Tencent Messenger (TM), an IM platform for voice and video communication and remote assistance. It is designed for business with security measures to optimize functions, shielding advertisements and spam. Also powered up to transmit files at high speed.
Tencent Traveler “TT”, It’s a web browser developed by Tencent, based on the Trident and is the third most-used browser in China. It works as a multi-page web-page browser. With user-friendly features and functions.
QQ Doctor is a free security software assistant tool.
QQMail Users receive popup reminders when new email arrives. It also offers various features, including blog reader, 1G-sized attachments as well as audio and video messages (do we need that?)
Foxmail In addition to basic mail management functions, it has added features for full text search, mail archives, IMAP4 protocol support and To-Do Lists.
QQ Player A media player, available for free downloads. I heard that is one of the best streaming media player applications for Android. It allows multiple audio tracks switching. Supports AVI, FLV, MP4, 3GP, MKV, MOV, etc. In addition, QQ Player and SRT, SMI plug-in subtitling together with MKV embedded subtitles. it is also available in English. (I should give it a try.)
QQ Pinyin is an Pinyin input-method software. Made for customisation of use in any writing circumstance including Games.
QQDownload Download software manager for installation, upgrade and uninstall of products from Tencent.
Internet Value-added Services
Qzone One of the largest social networking services in China. With 480 million users (March 2011) Now it claims to have over 523 million active users, making it one of the biggest social media platforms in the world.
It allows member users to write blogs or diaries (micro-blogs), share photos, and listen to music. Users can set their Qzone background and select accessories based on their preferences. Like My_space, the member’s profile page can be customized. However, most Qzone services are not free. QQ requires users to upgrade by buying a “Diamond” It will then display a Diamond icon on the profile and allow users to access every service without paying extra. The Mobile version is also a paid service. (Find me there)
QQMembership (VIP membership) Allow users a superior status both online and offline and enjoy a privileged experience.
QQShow (Avatar-based social platform like Ameba or Gree) users can choose from the QQShow Mall virtual clothing, hairstyles, scenes and accessories of all themes to dress up the virtual images and use them for their avatar on any QQ service.
QQMusic (together with Mobile QQMusic ) provider of copyrighted digital music services. Is the largest online music platform in China.
QQLive A peer-to-peer distribution platform for streaming media. is like a huge Menu of social media platforms, Chat services, Stream Video, email services and dozens of other services in China.
Pengyou A community tailored for university students. Includes games like QQ farm, QQ restaurant. It also provides internship, part-time job and recruitment news and information.
City Elite It’s a local SNS online community. Provides all services as any online community but communicates through SNS messages. Includes information for offline local activities.
Wireless Internet Value-Added Services
3G.QQ.COM Tencent’s mobile phone portal website.
Mobile QQ mobile IM software. It includes functions as voice video, photo-taking and file transmission.
Super QQ VIP service for mobile phone users. Provides users with functions and privileges like Chat, Entertainment and Lifestyle.
Mobile Game Mobile Game products: FlyingSB、Xianlv、Samsara、Fantasy i Era. QQ Games: including Dou Di Zhu、Mahjong and others. games that can be accessed both by cellular and PC.
Mobile QQMusic The largest wireless music sales platform in China. Incloudes free trial for MP3 downloads, ringtones and Color Ring Back Tones. Music information. Music SNS communities and Artist fans clubs.
PaiPai.com Internet auctions. It includes all major channels, including women, men, online games, digital products, mobile phone, life, sports, students, special offers, mums and babies, toys, value replenishment, superior quality products and hotels. It also provides feature products and services, including proxy overseas purchases, personalized customization, brand zone, red packets and gift zones.
An online payment system similar to PayPal and its Chinese rival Alipay, supports B2B, B2C and C2C payments. Individuals can TenPay for utility payments (in some Chinese cities) and to refill their public transport cards. Co-branded credit cards are available, The same service can also allow other payments like card bills and others. It is possible to recharge the TenPay account offline re-charging of your is possible, as the company sends employees to collect customer money in person. (I’m not sure if I’ll like someone to be coming to my house to collect bills, specially if in China but…)
Interactive Entertainment Services
MMOG “Journey to the Fairyland”, DNF “Dungeon & Fighter”, QQ HUAXIA, Hero Island, Dragon Power, QQ Xian Xia Zhuan, World of Fantasy, Cross Fire, AVA, QQ San Guo, QQ Free Fantasy, World of West, QQ Feng Shen Ji, QQ Dancer, QQ Speed, QQ Tang, R2Beat, Punch Monster, QQ Game, QQ PE T and Silkroad Hero.
TENCENT MIND Tencent provides a wide range of services which covers instant messaging, information portal, online games and e-business, etc. In 2009, Tencent revenue reached US$151 million
QQ has a long history of criticisms and controversies. For the way the company works, it might seem that they are just good for copying and re-copying other’s ideas and technology.
ICQ, Skype or MSN anyone? or just QQ with lemon?
With 700 Million IM Users, Tencent’s Q1 profited nearly $1 Billion in revenues (2011) leaving MSN and Skype spinning.
Think Facebook? Not very creatively original but fast in action, Tencent has taken a different approach in profiting from their social platforms.
According to (Inside Facebook*) , Facebook generated under 2% of revenues from virtual goods (Internet services) while Tencent now profits over 75% of total revenues from such “internet value-added services,” which grew 94% in 2009.
Around 10% of Tencent’s active users pay for memberships, which cost around $1.50 per month. That makes Tencent the world leader in micropayments.
As 2011, Facebook had a total revenue of $3.8 billion and $1.5 billion profit for 2011 whilst Tencent claimed revenues of $4 billion and $1.4 billion profit for the same year making them China’s largest internet service company.
The primary source of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertisements; only 11% comes from the sale of virtual goods. Tencent’ s revenue mainly comes from internet value-added services, and the advertising counts for less than $300 million.
I have used QQ, and I think it’s ‘OK’. Easy to use and the sound quality seemed better than Skype sometimes. Language options include English, Spanish, Japanese and Korean (besides Chinese of course)
There’s bunches and bunches of communities and hundreds of tons of groups, conversations etc. (Too much a busy person. No wonder why their student platform Pengyou was so successful)
QQ International (QQ VOIP) was hard to install because it keeps redirecting to many sites around the world. I wonder why it doesn’t download directly from their server. If you want to give it a try, click here.
The application for Android runs fine and seems smooth to use. As most platforms, it can invite your friends and search for contacts.
It has a wide range of applications from different companies and platforms, I even found the Japanese くるなび.
Despite the formal BAD DESIGN TASTE of QQ, the new applications and products have a better overall design and are easy to understand.
As I mentioned before, QQ service is free but has limitations. It then can be updated to a “diamond membership” allowing the member to access more privileges.
There are many different colored Diamonds that can be used for different purposes.
* Inside Facebook is the leading source of news and analysis on Facebook’s global growth, corporate developments, and product innovations. Inside Facebook provides daily news and analysis for developers, marketers, and investors.
Check my previous posts:
By Josekun <July 25, 2012>
Baidu is not an specific E-commerce platform but I included in this special because it’s relation to Chinese e-commerce as the biggest search engine portal once supported by Alibaba and Taobao (now rivals)
Baidu, Inc. (Chinese: 百度; pinyin: Bǎidù, [pronounced “by-DOO”], NASDAQ: BIDU), incorporated on January 18, 2000, is a Chinese web services company headquartered in the Baidu Campus in Haidian District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
Baidu was created by two Chinese nationals with studies abroad: Robin Li and Eric Xu.
Upon an THOMSON REUTERS report: Net income attributable to Baidu was RMB2.770 billion (US$436.0 million), representing a 69.6% increase from the corresponding period in 2011. Basic and diluted earnings per ADS for the second quarter of 2012 amounted to RMB7.87 ($1.24) and RMB7.86 ($1.24), respectively.
Baidu offers many services, including a Chinese language search engine for websites, audio files, images and much much more in their own cool style (really, is not lame at all)
Of them, Baidu offers 57 search and community services including Baidu Baike*, some sort of online reciprocally collaboration encyclopedia that also works as a searchable keyword-based discussion forum. CHECK THEM ALL HERE
* the meaning of ‘baike’ in Chinese is equivalent to Encyclopedia
Nowadays In total Baidu has a market value of $3 billion and operates the fourth-most trafficked Website in the world. Besides Baidu is doing what no other Internet company has been able to do: blast, Google and Yahoo in its market.
Baidu offers multimedia content including MP3 music and movies, and is the first in China to offer Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and personal digital assistant (PDA) based mobile search.
Baidu offers several services to locate information, products and services using Chinese-language search terms, such as, search by Chinese phonetics, advanced search, snapshots, spell checker, stock quotes, news, knows, postbar, images, video and space information, and weather, train and flight schedules and other local information.
Baidu also offers certain consultative services, such as keyword suggestions, account management and performance reporting. They have a ProTheme service for some of its Baidu Union members, which enable these members to display their properties its customers’. That is, promotional links that are relevant to the subject and content of such members’ properties.
With its with pre-agreed terms for Baidu Union members, Baidu generates revenues from ProTheme services based on the number of clicks from customers’ links and shares.
Baidu’s fixed-ranking services allow customers to display query-sensitive text links at a designated location on its search results pages.
Baidu TV provides advertisers access to the websites of its Baidu Union members, allowing advertisers to choose Websites on which they post their video advertisements with the aid of its advertisement targeting and matching system.
Baidu Union consists of several third-party websites and software applications.
Baidu has also launched programs through which it displays the online advertising of its customers on Baidu Union websites, and share the fees generated by these advertisements with the owners of these Baidu Union websites.
As of May 2011, there were 230 thousand partner websites that displayed Baidu Union ads on their websites.
Documents leaked in April 2009 from an employee in Baidu’s internal monitoring and censorship department show a long list of blocked websites and censored topics on Baidu search.
In August 2011, China Central Television revealed that commercial model of Baidu which is against the official internet policy in China and allegedly jeopardizes China’s internet development.
I tried a search on Baidu for my company Mondo Media Networks. The results:
My previous Coffee shop ‘The Mondo Lounge’ comes First.
Second: The Linkedin profile of our part-time staff; Olivia. She is native of the people’s republic of China so I guess that maybe her friends in China have used Baidu to find her. Interesting.
Third: Mondo Media Networks profile on Alibaba.
Fourth: Social Media Optimisation on Alibaba.
Fifth: My profile on Sino Weibo
6th: Chinese translation of the ” mondo media Networks “_ Baidu translation: Union Online Media.
BAIDU has MP3 search feature. I haven’t found on Google (until today) Previously I went back to the ancient Altavista Search. I just found a Google custom search for MP3s but is not on their main menu so I never even thought of using such. I tried, and it sent me to youtube results.
Baidu also has an online library search engine: Wenku. Can’t tell how good it is. I don’t read Chinese (Except 微博)
Testing it, Waiku works good and does search in different languages including the freedom of using different file formats (take that Microsoft!) though they warn about copyright policies.
Suggested reading [Baidu Deleted 1.9 Million Files from Wenku. Writers Still Unhappy]
By Josekun <July 22, 2012>
Statistics from iResearch show that China’s e-commerce revenue reached 276 billion U.S. Dollars (21 trillion Japanese yen) just the first fiscal quarter of 2012.
Online retail generated $121 billion in sales in China last year, up 66% from 2010, according to Barclays Capital. The size of China’s e-commerce market is expected to grow more than triple over the next three years, with sales reaching $420 billion by 2015. That’s 20% more than what the U.S.’s ecommerce market is forecast to bring in that year.
Alibaba Group. A privately-owned Hangzhou-based family of Internet-based businesses. They cover business-to-business online marketplaces, retail and payment platforms, shopping search engines and data-centric cloud computing services.
Meaning (simplified Chinese: 阿里巴巴集团; traditional Chinese: 阿里巴巴集團; pinyin:Ālǐbābā Jítuán)
Their products and services are designed to make the benefits of the Internet accessible to small businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers and it operates its business primarily in the People’s Republic of China.
You don’t know Jack Ma!
Alibaba’s owner Jack Ma said, ” I was in San Francisco one day, and I was thinking ‘Alibaba may be a smart name’ And then a waitress came to take my order, so I said do you know Alibaba? and she said yes! I said what does Alibaba remind you of?, and she or he said ‘Open sesame’ and then I thought “yes, this is the name!”
Then I went onto the street and asked a lot of people. About thirty guys: ‘Do you know Alibaba?’
People from India, Germany, Tokyo and China, all of them knew Alibaba, all responded “open sesame”
“Alibaba may be a kind, good business person, and he helped his village. Strength with an easy to remember and globally known magic spell, Alibaba does ‘opens sesame’ for small- to medium-sized corporations”
Alibaba Group is the owner of Taobao, Tmall, eTao, Alipay [Aliexpress], Alibaba Cloud Computing and lately; China Yahoo!
Alibaba.com is the largest marketplace for global trade in the world. It is a provider of online marketing services for importers and exporters.
Alibaba.com is an online business platform to search or post information to find potential business partnerships and deals.
Suppliers (exporters) can post company information and product information and compliment it with photos, descriptions, specifications, shipping terms, etc.
Buyers (importers) search and browse supplier’s products and then make inquiries to negotiate or place orders.
Their version in Chineseis www.1688.com
Taobao Marketplace is the biggest C2C online shopping platform in China. Founded in 2003, it has a wide variety of products.
They claim that it has served more than 370 million registered users (as 2010) They claim to have more than 800 million product listings and more than 370 million registered users.
Taobao Marketplace is one of the world’s top 20 most visited websites.
Tmall began operations on April 2008 as a dedicated B2C service platform to complement Taobao’s C2C marketplace and then became an independent business (June 2011).
Tmall.com currently features more than 70,000 major multinational and Chinese brands from more than 50,000 merchants. It offers several product verticals with customized customer services, including Consumer Electronics mall; Book mall; Home Furnishing mall; Designer Footwear mall; Beauty mall; and Imported Goods mall.
Brands with flagship retail storefronts on Tmall.com include UNIQLO, L’Oréal, adidas, P&G, Unilever, Gap, Ray-Ban, Nike and Levi’s. Tmall.com set a record for highest single-day transaction volume during a special promotion on November 11, 2011, facilitating the sales of goods totaling RMB3.36 billion (US$531.76 million) on the day or an average of more than RMB38,000 (US$6,022.18) per second.
eTao was first launched by Taobao in 2010 on it’s Beta-version, designed to work as an independent search engine but then, also became an independent business in June 2011.
eTao includes product search, rebates, coupons, group buy search, Tao Bar community and product pinboard eTao Faxian. It currently showcases more than 1 billion product listings, more than 5,000 business-to-consumer and group shopping websites, as well as more than 200 million pieces of shopping-related information.
eTao reflects product results from various major B2C online shopping platforms and individual brand owners including Taobao Marketplace, Tmall.com, Amazon China, Dangdang, Gome, Yihaodian, Nike China and Vancl.
Alipay Launched in 2004, Alipay is a third-party online payment platform. With some restrictions of operations in China, Paypal had a very, very lucrative market to tease Alibaba onto. Therefore the idea of an alternative for Paypal.The obvious result; Alipay.
On November 11, 2011, Alipay set a record for the highest daily number of transactions, facilitating 33.69 million transactions during the 24-hour period and it’s now the preferred online payment tool of Internet merchants in China..
[suggested read “Alipay Looking To Take A Chunk Of Paypal’s Monopoly!” ]
The company claims it had more than 650 million registered accounts as of the end of 2011.
Alipay provides a payment service called escrow, in which consumers can verify whether they are happy with goods they have bought before releasing money to the seller.
Alipay has partnerships with more than 100 financial institutions including Visa and MasterCard to provide payment options for Taobao.com and Tmall.com as well as more than 460,000 Chinese businesses and they are also looking to team up with several international credit card companies.
Transnationally, Alipay helps more than 300 worldwide merchants sell directly to consumers in China. It also supports transactions in 12 major foreign currencies.
In 2009 Alipay ownership was transferred out from the Alibaba Group to a private company managed by Jack Ma. It was a very controversial and sudden decision that had the media reporting in 2011 that Alibaba Group’s controlling shareholders (Yahoo! and Softbank) were not informed of the sale for nominal value.
The incident was widely criticized in foreign and Chinese media as harming foreign trust in making Chinese investments. The ownership disputes with Yahoo! and Softbank were lately resolved by Alibaba Group in 2011.
Aliexpress Founded in 2009, AliExpress.com is an online wholesale marketplace platform that offers products at factory prices direct from China. Orders can be as small 1 item.
Different from Alipay, Aliexpress sellers are only from China. AliExpress its a B2B and B2C ships exclusively by air while its creator, Alibaba, offers a choice of shipping by sea or air.
With a growing reputation of unethical suppliers, it got an user beware rating from the WFHW ‘Work From Home Watch Dog’
Suggested read: Great Aliexpress review by the The WFHW
Alibaba Cloud Computing Created in September 2009 , Alibaba Cloud Computing is build an advanced data-centric cloud computing service platforms. (Developers the cloud-based mobile device operating system, “Aliyun OS”, now available also in English)
Their research and market targets also include e-commerce data mining, high-speed massive e-commerce data processing, and data customization (specialty focused, flexible, front-end applications) Mostly for the Chinese market as the Aliyun OS. See It HERE
I think personally, Alibaba Cloud Computing is a company to watch when it comes to future solutions for cheap smart-phone systems. As good as the actual rivals? Definitively NO, but cheap.
China Yahoo! Yahoo! used to hold a 40% stake in Alibaba, which manages Alibaba’s web portal in China using the Yahoo! brand name.
Yahoo! in the USA has no direct control over the operations of Alibaba, which operates as a completely independent company.
After years of negotiations, on May 21st 2012 Alibaba announced that it would buy back half the 40% stake owned by Yahoo. The deal would raise about $7.1bn (£4.5bn) for Yahoo!, which has been losing ground to rival Google and Facebook in online advertising.
Same as Yahoo! anywhere; Yahoo! China is an Internet guide designed specifically for Web users there (Baidu or Yahoo! China? Click here) http://aol.it/OfHlbS
It includes more than 20,000 Chinese Web sites created in simplified Chinese characters and approximately 20,000 Web sites created in traditional Chinese characters.
Same as Google, Yahoo! China has also been a target on the cyber attacks originating in China (Operation Aurora) due to allegations that the Chinese government used the company’s’ service to spy on human rights activists. http://bit.ly/MAz2LR
Personal comments (To be, or to Drop-ship?…)
I have been using Alibaba for both my companies (Mondo Books / Mondo Media Networks) and it has been working good to network with international Book traders.
All of our business proposals have come from Asia, so I’m not sure that Alibaba’s reputation elsewhere might be that strong.
As for advertising services (B2B), Alibaba might still not be such a good option but good enough by being free.
To get better attention in marketing service related business, I might relying in other marketplaces.
– Alibaba has an escrow service that comes obviously necessary.
– They also have membership verification thou is only available only for members in U.S.A., India, Malaysia & few other European countries.
– Alibaba has a Gold Supplier account upgrade though is disappointing to find to be connected to a page in Japanese with poor design that suggest an unclear service that cost fees of 60,000 Yen (764 U.S. dollars) a month. [I’m registered in Japan but I chose to receive notifications in English]
Alibaba’s sign-in system is poorly built and it does not accept alphanumeric characters, making the password very vulnerable to hacking.
I have tried to use Alipay but their set up fee of 1000 USD + 3% for transaction might be too much for a low starter. If you are looking for payment processing services to sell in China, China Payment Services (CPS) might be a good option.
Same as Alipay, CPS has fast and friendly costumer service.
CPS integration system is easy to understand and use, and it is as far as I know, the best option for small starters on e-commerce to China thou it might be hard to integrate to sites e-commerce platforms. I tried Shopify and Highwire but they had issues allowing CPS.
Getting pay from China is tricky so my suggestion would be; to built your own site from scratch and add your own payment option like Alipay (don’t forget that you need 1000 USD just to get you started) CPS or Paypal, and build your own shopping carts.
I had some problems with Paypal before since they couldn’t accept payments in RMB (Yuan) but it seems that is lately possible. It works the same as it does in every other country. It accepts Chinese bank accounts, cards, addresses and RMB payments (very important when getting your customers to know price values)
Now they offer two types of account: An RMB only account for payments within China, and a Global account for payments in any paypal accepted currency world wide. More info HERE (Use a translator)
Amazon China. Its only available in Chinese and there is no marketplace for second-hand books (other second hand products)
TAOBAO and other temptations.
If you want to sell in Chinese e-Commerce platforms, it’s easy. There are a bunch of companies that offer to register your products and charge you a not very affordable rate. Even if your products where made in, yes, China.
OR you could register your company in China in all different kinds of incorporation… Easy if you have a good amount of Money and the guts to take high risks.
Selling in China it’s as easy as saying, OPEN SESAME!