Communist China appears to have mastered capitalism with tech giant Tencent overtaking Facebook and joining the elusive $500 billion club
Karl Marx would twist in his grave if he were to hear the news that Communist China’s tech giant Tencent had just become a roaring success for capitalism. Indeed, it appears as though some companies are “more equal” than other companies.
Tencent has just had a cap valuation of $530 billion. Currently, Facebook’s cap valuation has shrunk beneath that and is $508 billion. Consequently, Tencent now enters the famed “US Tech Quintet.” Clearly, no matter where you sit on the spectrum, money is far more important than politics!
Westerners will not be familiar with who or what Tencent is. This is because Tencent is China’s answer to all of the Western social media that they ban in their nation. Tencent provides the country with the majority of its internet needs.
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Tencent provides all the usual internet services including social media, e-commerce, smartphones, apps, games, and music
Obviously, the Communist Party heavily monitors the internet giant, as 7000 of its employees are members of the Party. Consequently, heavy censorship dominates the activities of the tech group. Most recently, Winnie the Pooh became a victim of such censorship.
Formed in 1998, Tencent didn’t achieve any substantial success for a few years. In fact, initially, legal action threatend the progress of Tencent. The company’s chat service, QQ appeared to resemble the once highly popular ICQ. It wouldn’t be until the company entered the gaming market, with its acquisition of Rito Games in 2011, that it would begin to break into the lucrative tech market.
Most of Tencent’s social media platforms are indeed very similar to their Western versions
Indeed, most of Tencent’s co-members in the Tech Quintet are banned in the country. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, amongst numerous other platforms, are entirely blocked by the Chinese Communist regime. Tencent serves to replace the market’s desire for those outlets.
The company also released a digital assistant that mimics Alexa. Called Xiaowei, it answers the questions of its users. Such interactive technology, which could potentially be used to monitor and police populations, is clearly popular in both the East and the West.
Steven Chang, Tencent’s Corporate Vice President, has also explained that the company’s platforms enable a link between East and West. However, this link appears to be purely for carefully monitored marketing and advertising.
Chang explained “Many brands have a story they would like to share in China. Nowadays, Chinese customers are curious to seek for experience outside China and then decide what is important or relevant to their lives. Our role is to support and enable conversation between brands and consumers through platforms like WeChat and QQ.“