What Does Tencent Own? Inside The Tencent Business Model

Tencent is a Chinese multinational conglomerate founded in 1998 by Ma Huateng, Zhang Zhidong, and Xu Chenye. Among its various global subsidiaries are companies in the online services, music, and artificial intelligence industries. But it is perhaps best known for its interest in the video game sector – both as a game developer for the Chinese market and the acquirer of several established gaming companies. Tencent is a vast company with a stake in more than 600 companies. Following is a look at some of the companies and subsidiaries it has a majority stake in.

SubsidiaryKey Products/ServicesDescriptionIntegration Strategy
WeChat (Weixin)– Messaging and social media platform – Mobile payments – Mini programs and appsWeChat, known as Weixin in China, is a multipurpose messaging and social media app with over a billion users. It offers various services, including messaging, payments, and access to mini-programs that function as apps within the platform.WeChat serves as Tencent’s flagship product and ecosystem hub. It integrates various services, including payments, mini-programs, and social networking, creating a comprehensive digital ecosystem. Users can access a wide range of services within WeChat, enhancing user engagement and loyalty.
Tencent Cloud– Cloud computing services – AI and data analytics – Game hostingTencent Cloud provides a range of cloud computing services, including infrastructure, AI and data analytics, and game hosting solutions. It serves businesses across various industries with cloud-based technologies.Tencent Cloud complements Tencent’s digital ecosystem by providing scalable and reliable cloud infrastructure. It supports the technological needs of Tencent’s various services and businesses, ensuring seamless integration and performance. Additionally, it offers AI and data analytics capabilities that enhance the overall ecosystem’s data-driven capabilities.
Tencent Video– Video streaming – Original content productionTencent Video is a leading video streaming platform in China, offering a wide range of content, including licensed movies and TV shows, as well as original productions. It competes with platforms like iQiyi and Youku.Tencent Video contributes to Tencent’s content-rich ecosystem. It provides exclusive content and drives user engagement through video streaming. Integration with WeChat and other Tencent services encourages users to consume content within the ecosystem, strengthening user retention and monetization opportunities.
Tencent Music Entertainment– Music streaming – Karaoke – Live streaming concertsTencent Music Entertainment owns popular music streaming services like QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music. It also offers karaoke and live streaming of concerts, making it a comprehensive music and entertainment platform.Tencent Music enhances Tencent’s digital entertainment ecosystem. It provides music content that complements Tencent Video and WeChat, promoting user engagement. Integration with social features and platforms facilitates content sharing and enhances the overall entertainment experience within the Tencent ecosystem.
Tencent Games– Online and mobile games – Game development studios – EsportsTencent Games is one of the world’s largest gaming companies, known for titles like Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile. It also owns several game development studios and has a significant presence in esports.Tencent Games plays a pivotal role in Tencent’s content and entertainment ecosystem. It provides a wide range of gaming experiences, and its integration with social and streaming platforms like WeChat and Tencent Video enhances user engagement and monetization opportunities. The acquisition of game development studios strengthens the ecosystem’s content offerings.
Tencent Pictures– Film production – Investment in the entertainment industryTencent Pictures is involved in film production and investment in the entertainment industry. It has produced and invested in various movies and TV series, contributing to Tencent’s presence in the entertainment sector.Tencent Pictures enriches Tencent’s content ecosystem by expanding into the film and entertainment industry. It leverages intellectual property from gaming and other divisions, creating synergies and potential adaptations that appeal to a broader audience. Its investments in entertainment align with Tencent’s strategy to diversify its content portfolio and engage users across multiple media forms.
Tencent AI Lab– Artificial intelligence research – Development of AI technologiesTencent AI Lab focuses on research and development in artificial intelligence. It plays a key role in advancing AI technologies and applications across Tencent’s various products and services.Tencent AI Lab reinforces Tencent’s commitment to innovation and technological advancement. It contributes to the integration of AI capabilities across Tencent’s products and services, enhancing user experiences and efficiency. The lab’s research and developments benefit various Tencent divisions, from gaming to cloud computing, promoting a unified approach to AI integration.
Tencent Finance– Financial services – Online banking – Wealth managementTencent Finance provides a range of financial services, including online banking, wealth management, and digital payment solutions. It leverages technology to offer innovative financial products.Tencent Finance complements Tencent’s ecosystem by offering financial services that enhance user engagement and convenience. Integration with WeChat Pay and other Tencent platforms facilitates seamless transactions and financial management within the ecosystem. It aligns with Tencent’s goal of becoming a one-stop destination for users’ daily needs, including financial services.
Tencent Mobility– Ride-hailing (investment in Didi Chuxing) – Autonomous driving technologyTencent has invested in ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and is actively involved in the development of autonomous driving technology, contributing to the mobility sector’s growth.Tencent Mobility extends Tencent’s reach into the mobility sector, aligning with the broader goal of offering integrated services. Investments in ride-hailing and autonomous



Tencent Games

Tencent Games is the video game publishing division of Tencent Interactive Entertainment.

The Tencent division operates game development studios in China and the United States. It produces mostly mobile and browser-friendly games for the Chinese marketplace.

Tencent launched its own gaming platform called WeGame in 2017, allowing gamers to host global games and get access to purchases, downloads, live streaming, and community services.

Established game developers

Tencent has also acquired several game developers over the years. In 2015, it gained total ownership over Riot Games – developer of League of Legends.

The company also has majority ownership of Funcom (100%), Leyou (100%), Sharkmob (100%), Supercell (84%), and Grinding Gear Games (80%).

Epic Games – the creator of Fortnite – is also 40% owned by Tencent.

Epic Games owns Fortnite; Tim Sweeney, co-founder, and CEO is the major shareholder, with more than 50% of the company. And Tencent with a stake of over 40% of the company. Epic Games develops, publishes, and distributes games. It comprises the Unreal Engine, making money through licensing agreements with developers and creators. While Fortnite primarily follows a free-to-play model with up-sells and digital in-app purchases.
Epic Games is a gaming company, that develops, publishes, and distributes games. It comprises the Unreal Engine, making money through licensing agreements with developers and creators. Its games (like Fortnite) mostly follow a free-to-play model on PC and an in-app purchase model on the digital marketplace. And its storefront Epic Games Store, taking a 12% cut on games’ sales.


WeChat is a “super app” or an app that can do many things, from messaging to mobile payments and social media. Developed by Tencent, WeChat is among the most popular Super Apps in China. WeChat makes money via value-added services (with services like Moments, Public Accounts, and Gaming), advertising, and payments on the transaction processed through it.

WeChat is a multi-purpose messaging, mobile payment, and social media app developed by the company in 2011. Seven years after its release, it became the largest standalone app in the world by total users.

WeChat also offers an extensive digital payment service in line with Chinese government initiatives to support eCommerce development in the country.

Tencent Music Entertainment

The primary function of Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) is the creation of music streaming services specifically for the Chinese market.

In collaboration with Swedish audio streaming service Spotify, TME has created several apps including Kugou, Kuwo, WeSing, QQ Music, and Ultimate Music. Collectively, these apps represent 800 million active users, 15% of which are subscribed to a paid plan.

Tencent Video

Tencent Video is a Chinese video streaming website. The website is complemented by WeTV, the international version of Tencent Video.

It also offers a video-on-demand service and supports television broadcasts by providing video volume amplification, color quality management, and other functional services.

In terms of the content itself, Tencent has a strategic focus on original content in the form of micro movies and homemade dramas. It also offers short-film contests and support plans.

Tencent Pictures

Tencent Pictures is the film production and distribution arm of Tencent. Through subsidiary Tencent Penguin Pictures, the company has a focus on online content and feature film investment.

Tencent Pictures has been involved in several notable films, including Men In Black: International and the upcoming Top Gun sequel.

Key takeaways

  • Tencent is a vast Chinese conglomerate founded in 1998. It has a stake in over 600 companies.
  • Tencent is perhaps best known for video gaming. It owns and operates a gaming production facility to develop games for the Chinese market. It also has majority ownership of established game developers responsible for titles such as Fortnite and League of Legends.
  • Tencent also owns the instant messaging app WeChat and has a significant investment in the production of movies, short films, and dramas for Chinese and international markets.

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